After Summer Camp
We purchase duplicates of mundane things
thumbtacks, paperclips, stapler, tape
gleaned from department store shelves.
The same things pushed around our kitchen junk drawers
now become less familiar as we consider each design and color
placing selections into a crowded shopping cart
as the list of all that is needed is reviewed
We purchase things to keep you safe and us less worried
a bicycle helmet, a lock to hold a bike, a light for rides at night.
We purchase towels to dry you, a blanket to warm you, a fan to cool
and discuss the excessive options in technological gadgets
alarm clocks that project time on the ceiling and whisper you to sleep.
We select a computer that nearly sings when started
and order things you have always loved
books that will lead to new places.
You ask how may pens you will use,
how much paper will it take to keep your notes?
As if I could tell you how may words you will collect
like those rounded river stones you gather that glisten when wet
or the wild flowers you press in an old book.
I watch you as we check the list of all that is needed,
though this time you are not leaving
for a two week summer camp.