The Riddle of 2020

 My niece turned 11 years old that day
 and unwrapped a book of riddles in the morning.
 as my extended family gathered 
 under a tent 
 in my sister’s backyard
 to break bread together 
 and celebrate
 for the first time since last year,
 my niece’s tiny voice* 
 released one of those riddles
 into the carefully measured spaces
 between tables,
 and suddenly
 the separation of missing each other 
 evaporated into
 old and young
 piling on with the greatest riddles 
 they had ever heard – 
 cute ones
 clever ones
 funny ones
 confusing ones
 and pure groaners 
 from the dads that were there (because that’s their job)
 until there was 
 no space between us – 
 there was only 
 joyous togetherness.
 In that moment,
 it felt like a normal year
 like no time had passed
 when we were apart.
 In that moment,
 there was no riddle to stump us
 or furrow our brows,
 there was only
 us being us
 even with 
 all the empty spaces
 between us.
 *Thank you, Vivian.   

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s