From the Shallows

Written for the Sue Boynton poetry contest last year.  Unused.

A memory pulled from the deep.
It was a skate, sting ray’s cousin,
With a barbed tail like a hot poker.
In the shallows, I watched
The pin prick grab of the mans hands
Wrap around its tail
And he screamed.
I was five and my world exploded
In fear and wonder.
A leviathan within reach.


The Christmas? Letter

Nuckolls 2015 holiday card

Iron Man – Maggie – 7 years old. (Iron Man’s Laser, today, played by our pet hamster Koko)

While not the leader of the pack, she is the brains behind some hair-brained schemes that tend to include Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye. Stoic at times, but playful and full of ideas. Schooling outside of the public eye, she excels in designing new structures (for family members and dolls), constructing heretofore unknown technology (thanks Lego!), and engaging in seemingly endless battle against all number of threats (Tolkien’s Orcs, Lewis’s Traitor King Miraz, and Disney’s gigantically misunderstood Neverbeast). Her smile has never been so bright, her intellect never so sharp, her joy never so unbridled.

Thor – Louisa – 5 years old.

Wielding the hammer of sibling justice, Louisa knows that it is nearly unliftable by anyone else. She is serious and determined, but her smile is the light of Asgaard (aka. Maplewood Ave.). Mostly using the Rainbow Road, she travels great distances with ease and with the pumping arms of any great battle tested (read: play-set and swing using) Asgaardian. Her intellect is astounding, retention of mathematical equations and facts and figures, proving that earthlings have a new force to reckon with. Seeking to acquaint herself more fully to her new home on earth she is learning the very fabric of our planet (sewing, paper weaving, playdough).

The Hulk – Henry – 2 years old.

(Should not be a surprise to anyone with a boy in the house.) He is still learning his strength and dearly hoping to understand what causes his angry green changing. When not the green monster smashing aliens, his love of music has grown to include rock and roll, some jazz, a little classical, and a lot silly songs. He plays his guitar to quell the inner beast and when needed lets off steam by banging on drums in the garage. However, when needed, he’s a bruiser. Often demanding training in the form of tackling, tickling, wrestling, etc with his good friend Captain America (Jake).

Hawkeye – Beatrice – >1 year old

Bea is relatively new to the team. Her first impressions are a little cocky for all of her realized skills. She fires vocal arrows at all who disrupt her or her team, but aside from volume she’s still establishing herself. Walking has become a true means of transport and after the “Battle of the Cutting Teeth,” the “Battle of Rolling-Over,” and the “Battle of Overzealous-Carrying-Siblings” its no wonder learning to walk took on renewed fervor. Retreating is just as important! Her Avengers name may be Hawkeye, but her real name, Beatrice, Bringer of Joy, is truer than she could know.

Black Widow – Talia – 36 years old.

The swiss army knife of the family. Literally and metaphorically. Simultaneously juggling the strengths and weaknesses of the team as well as assessing the daily training needs. Single-handedly keeping Hawkeye alive. Add to it incredible beauty, lethal with weapons of all sorts (frying pan, knitting needles, paint brushes, and an Ergo ™), fashion sense, a subtle but undeniable crush on the Captain, and an allegiance to the team that runs deep and you get one incredible member of the Avengers.

Captain America – Jake – 34 years old

The driving force, the steadying hand in the face of upheaval, the Captain stands tall in the face of all adversity. Boldly running into the heart of battle with little regard to his own safety (or that of his shirts: potty, poop, puke; of his books: little hands that rip and tear; of his sleep: nightmares, late night potty breaks, cups of water). Co-leader of the team, he gladly shares control with Black Widow and relishes in each moment they have together. On his own he is, day in and day out, braving tight spaces (crawlspaces, attics, office conflict) to bring warmth (insulation) and shelter (home repair) to those who need it.

Nick Fury – Maryanne – 4 year old Cat

Temperamental, uppity, foolishly believing that she’s in control. Yep, that’s about right.

 We are, at least until I figure out a better metaphor, The Avengers!