spring of a twelve year old

“ The details of my life are quite inconsequential… very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum… it’s breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.”

-Dr. Evil, “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”

I do love this moment. Kakashi constantly underestimates Sakura’s strength. Part of it is that he wants to protect her - what (mostly) normal twelve year old girl could handle the truth of Orochimaru’s mark? Sakura will surprise him, surprise everyone with excessive strength she’ll develop. Her picking the dandelion and talking about its strengths (strong enough to withstand the harsh winter by keeping in mind the warmth of spring) was a good SasuSaku moment - but it was also a fantastic Sakura moment.

This is what I mean when I say Sakura’s characterization is tied very deeply to her love for Sasuke. As she grows, so does her love. Even when she doesn’t really want it to. Considering the legacy of the Uchiha clan, it’s a bit fitting that someone like Sakura who loves like Sakura will become the matriarch of the reborn Uchiha clan.

Snapshots

My brain holds a chattering community
Of pictures from the first day of spring
Flitting behind my eyes
Butterflies following the sun.

My brain is a smudged xerox
Of details that are insignificant
Until precisely the right moment–
Who is babysitting Jordan’s marimba?–
That I dredge up in a fit of adrenaline,
Eyes sparking recognition.
When students ask me
“What are you looking at?”
It reminds me where my gaze is fixed
(Usually on the pocked white plaster on the wall,
As I work to avoid 34 curious gazes
and keep twelve-year-olds comfortable
making their words heard.)

My brain guards a cluttered nest
Of scattered scraps of information,
Gathering them in a warm, ragged
Encircling of arms.
What are prayers, if not snapshots of our worries
Captured at that precise moment,
As we open our arms,
The words and sounds that cry most persistently
For the attention of forces beyond us?
For a boy dead before his father,
For this unseasonably warm March,
For students who come to school without breakfast.