I painted with my fingers, traced them white,
orange, blue on a black-as-night construction
sheet. As my toddlers giggled around
me, I pressed harder and harder, almost
tearing through the paper. But when they stared
at my scribbled page, I showed them how
to take a brush and smooth it all away.
Circles and dots, fingerprints that won’t leave
turned to lines and thistles streaking through dark.
As the kids got up and washed their hands, I stayed
and placed my purple fingers underneath
the wood table, knowing they would stay.