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by Margaret H. Mason

Included in the anthology


to benefit the Patch Adams Foundation


That morning

When Jarrod was sad and didn’t know why

And refused to get dressed

His mother sent him upstairs still wearing his pajamas

To brush his teeth in the tiny aqua bathroom.



Imagine his surprise when in the aqua ceiling

Of the tiny aqua bathroom

He saw an ocean

Full of dolphins.


He left his toothbrush

On the edge of the sink

And dove

Into that limpid, languorous sea

And he was home,

Among his friends,

Back where he remembered being happy

And never having to get dressed

Or brush his teeth.


He dove and frolicked and swirled and leapt

In the clear aqua peace

And sang with the dolphins

And laughed with the dolphins.

Why do I have to go back to that dusty dry place

So heavy and hurried

And get dressed and brush my teeth? Jarrod asked.

The dolphins’ eyes were bright and full

Merry with memories and promises.


It was your turn, spoke their eyes.

In that dusty dry place

Heavy and hurried

They need you.

They need

Spinning, unlimited joy

Whirling, unending play

Shimmering, bottomless love

And their hearts need to overflow

To know the beauty of our world.

We need you

In that dusty dry place.


And the dolphins’ eyes reminded Jarrod

Of memories and promises.


That morning

Jarrod leapt out of the sea

Being careful not to land on his toothbrush

And, still dripping wet,

Brushed his teeth in the tiny aqua bathroom.


He went downstairs

And hugged his mother, who started to scold him for taking too long and getting water everywhere

But he smiled and said don’t worry, the bathroom is dry,

I was swimming with the dolphins in the ceiling.


And his eyes twinkled with such merriment that his mother laughed

And Jarrod said he would get dressed right away

Because he had many things to do.

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