Seven is a sacred number,
signaling perfection in an imperfect world:
Seven days of creation, seven loaves and a handful of fish,
Seven deadly sins, seven virtues, seven gifts of the Spirit,
Seventy-seven times we’re called to forgive.
Seven times today my granddaughter
stops dead in her tracks,
a full-throated gasp escaping her lips.
As she hunts for hand-me-down toys,
she surprises a vacuum cleaner,
standing upright just inside the bedroom door.
As she gazes from the front window,
white petals drift off the dogwood
and settle silently on the still wet grass.
As she struggles to separate two plastic bricks,
she squeezes one in each chunky hand and pulls,
pulls harder — until the pieces pop apart.
She seeks refuge in the walk-in shower,
sliding down the tiles to sit in the corner,
and laughs as I splash water on the glass between us.
She picks through the clutter atop my dresser,
zeroing in on a tarnished pair of tweezers,
that stands alone in an old crystal glass.
She sorts through my jewelry box,
coaxing a string of bright green beads
out from the tangle in one dark corner.
She pries open a small metal box
that bears the image of ancient Irish stones
to discover again four smooth rocks gathered on last week’s walk.
Seven times today my darling Dot
makes sure her old Nana sees for herself:
surprises behind a door,
struggles that succeed,
refuge that allows laughter,
tarnish that does not diminish usefulness,
brightness illuminating dark corners,
and the joy of rediscovering last week’s wealth.