The Queen of Heaven

Pale Daffodil. June Day. Lemon Tart.

There's 34 shades of yellow at the hardware store.

It's a decision mortal and permanent that can't be undone.

Baby number two is three months away and we don't want to ruin him with a ceiling painted Pineapple Delight.

Sawyer starts squirming until I can't contain him.

Sixteen months old and he slithers to the concrete slab floor.

He's off with intent.

I leave Suzy with the swatches and follow.

Hands slapping the cold, hard floor as he makes time.

Evelyn  smiles and nods from behind the paint counter - her two are already grown.

I'm the tired dad.

Aiming to navigate another day without any big fuckups.

Sawyer is on a mission and knows what he needs like I've never known anything in my life.

Half the length of a football field he stampedes on all fours.

Shopping cart pushing men desperate to mend clogged pipes and busted screen doors make room as if they were the sea and Moses were demanding they part for my boy.

Then we're there.

He plops back on his dumptruck embroidered jammie, spreads his arms to the sky and declares "ZA ... ZA ... ZA!"

We're in the lighting section.

Hung above us are perhaps a hundred illuminated fixtures.

Danish modern. Cottage chic. Urban industrial.

Someday he'll know they're all just metal and plastic twisted in different directions by poor, desperate people half a world away.

Designed by slightly less poor but just as desperate people not quite so far away.

But right now he has discovered the Queen of Heaven.

 She is glowing upon him with a mysterious light.

And for a moment, I get to see her too.






Aaron Beswick