The Last Time I Was Here

RIverdale Road

I was seven and it was my birthday
and you let me have a banana split
for breakfast.

I was ten and you gave me books to read, science fiction,
that were far beyond what I normally got
and I loved them.

I was thirteen and I was the head fruit-picker, cleaner,
and assistant, helping you put up jam: plum,
blackberry, applebutter.

I was fifteen and disobeyed you for the first (and only) time,
and went on a date, a double date with my
future husband.

I was eighteen and had to talk you into going to my
wedding because my mother told you I was
probably pregnant. (I wasn’t.)

I was twenty-three and my first child was with me,
you had alzheimer’s and kept asking me
his name, over and over.

I was thirty, and your daughter had sold the land.
Strangers live here now. And I can’t believe
I’ll never see you again.


Written for Poetic Asides November Poem-a-Day Challenge, prompt, The Last Time I Was Here.


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