Definition of Life

By Elizabeth Smith



\ ˈlīf \

plural lives \ ˈlīvz \

Definition of life

1 a : a raccoon gives birth to three kits in our dilapidated shed

b : a Rudy Gobert–sized sunflower showers its seeds

c : my tender newborn lies with me in bed

2 a : a crow gorges itself on the flying carpenter ants on our driveway

b : a sapling reaches its hungry roots into a fallen, decaying ancestor

c : “Meat,” says my pink-cheeked nephew as he points to a bison

3 : the inspiration for my brother’s stuffed sketchpads

4 : a cereal my other brother loves

5 a : a word I whisper before I ask my neighbor if I may please use his landline because I locked myself out

b : and as my husband and I sit before our budget

c : and after we taste the first, delicate bite of our homemade chicken tagine

d : and when I see our car tire drooping onto the asphalt

e : and as we stand before a long dirt trail lined by a canopy of pines and tangled bushes

6 a : my daughter squeals, so I hand her a chickpea

b : a nearby wasp senses the chickpea, so it lands on my daughter’s palm

c : my daughter closes her fist

d : she sobs, sobs, sobs

7 : my avatar lies limp under a monstrous machine, and the PlayStation displays a brown loading screen

8 a : the neighborhood cat offers a decapitated rat on our back porch, and in return we gladly stroke her fluffy neck

b : a late-summer rose shrivels in the frost

c : on my grandmother’s marker, the line etched between two numbers


Marsha Derrick said…
So thoughtful, I stopped and enjoyed each definition, savoring each meaning. Beautiful work,

Popular Posts