Bethany Jarmul | Puddle of Joy

The sky opens her cloud-pockets and tosses handfuls of water onto pruny, sunburnt leaves in our front yard. My toddler jumps on the couch by the window, shooting his arms up like rocket ships and down like meteorites. Higher and higher until he knocks his noggin on the ceiling and lands in a pile of pillows and tears.

Any other day, I would say—stop, it’s not safe. But today, I just want to study the rain-drop jewels on bare branches, pools of possibilities in the cracks in the sidewalk. I want to catch sky’s leftovers on my tongue and wash them down with whimsy.

Bravery-stalks growing inside him, my son climbs back on the couch, one small jump, the second higher, third higher still, gaining height and velocity until—he punches his fists towards the sky, through the ceiling, the attic, the roof, into the clouds, up and over and down, down, down, into our yard, landing in a leafy puddle of joy.

Bethany Jarmul is a writer, editor, and poet. Her work has appeared in more than 50 literary magazines and been nominated for Best of the Net and Best Spiritual Literature. Bethany enjoys chai lattes, nature walks, and memoirs. She lives near Pittsburgh with her family. Connect with her at or on Twitter: @BethanyJarmul.

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