Flower Child – Len Kuntz

My son is busy eating dirt, scooping up the grainy earth that looks so much like coffee grounds.
         I should stop him. I should call someone for advice. He’s out back by the tree swing, beside her sun-scorched garden.
         I expect he’ll spit it out any minute. I’m learning new things while he’s growing up. When my wife was alive she accused me of being soft. “Your past has bruised you,” she said.
        Our son, he has the same sheet of freckles and Kool-Aid colored hair but he no longer gets into fights and I don’t hear him whimper at night. He has her strong bones.
        After an hour I can’t take it anymore.
“Come on,” I say, “Knock it off.” He’s sitting cross-legged, head steered toward the sun, mouth open and full of dirt.
        I see the water glass next to his knee. His mouth is muddy, but there, in the center, where his tongue should be is a single sprout, curling up through the dirt like a cane handle.
        I’m about to ask, ‘For Mom?’ but he’s already grinning, his pupils, the color of her favorite flower.

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State.  His work appears widely in print and also online at such places as Staccato Fiction, Thirst for Fire, Indigo Rising and also at lenkuntz.blogspot.com