Hopgrassers and Flutterbies
Volume Four of The Seasons of Youth

Paperback: 74 pp.
Published: 2011

Price: $15.95

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In the fourth volume of the fivebook series The Seasons of Youth, Louis Daniel Brodsky traces the growth of his daughter, from ages six to eleven, and that of his son, from three to eight. His girl develops socially, attending her first sleepover and making friends with her classmates. She also matures emotionally, as evidenced during the mornings she shares with her father, who practices spelling with her, at home, and drives her to school, the two of them often sharing breakfast in one of their small town's cafés. His boy goes through phases of fascination — trains, airplanes, dinosaurs and whales — but finds his mother's avocations of drawing and painting to be his steady preoccupations, allowing him to give order to his ever-expanding world. And both kids begin coming to terms with their father's increasingly frequent business trips. Hopgrassers and Flutterbies is a touching universal portrait of a devoted, loving father and mother and their two flourishing children.


Ministering to the Fish

Having decided, after more than a month
Of bribes, cajoling, draconian threats,
That there’s no other solution
To Trilogy’s disinclination
For changing, biweekly, its water,
We prepare to bury her barely alive fish,
In a brief Sunday-afternoon ceremony, out back.
I’ve forced the issue
To this infelicitous conclusion,
Not wishing to do her chores for her, anymore.
She acquiesces past the hoeing,
Right up to the moment
Whose wretched, pragmatic truth
Seems so perniciously inhuman, cruel,
Once the cold bowl in my icy palms
Awakens me to the deed
I’m not only initiating
But coercing my eight-year-old daughter
To witness, condone, and assist in perpetrating.
Repulsed, I abruptly halt the act,
Instead lead the procession back to the patio,
Where she and I now sit,
Sharing in cleaning stones, scrubbing the filmy glass,
Refurbishing the plastic anemone and seaweed —
Father, daughter, and fish
Participants in a secular baptism,
Ordained to receive grace, for perhaps another month.






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