Gourds, Gourds, Gourds A Motely Patch

Gourds, Gourds, Gourds: A Motely Patch

OOOOOOOOOHHH!” Henry yells. He beats on a smooth, brown-stemmed pumpkin like a bongo drum. Following his drum solo, he shuffles his toddler self to the next pile; his eyes widen and fists shake. Pumpkins! Pumpkins pepper the front lawn of J.T. Moore Middle School. Adults and children meander in the patch, while traffic hums from the nearby intersection. One knee after another, Henry ascends a...
An Open Letter to the Nashville Zoo

An Open Letter to the Nashville Zoo

An Open Letter to the Nashville Zoo: I tried not to like you. The only reason I visited you was for my toddler son, Henry. He needs to learn about the animal kingdom, and you are the only place nearby offering this service. What’s my problem with you? Truth be told, you depress me. Large animals held captive in confined spaces sadden me. Call me a “bleeding heart,” if you like. Free the...
The Gaze, Picasso, and Fatherhood

The Gaze, Picasso, and Fatherhood

I adore the first picture taken in the hospital of me and my newborn son.  My eyes gaze on the small face resting against my chest. The dark rings below my eyes, formed from my wife’s two and a half days of labor, extend to the top of my cheekbone. I tilt my head to study the tiny features of the face cradled in my hands, only a few hours old. My soul intertwines with the nine pounds of soft...