I’ve been thinking about our old apartment, the one on the end of the row
with the stamp of yard to the side and sloping up toward the tracks.
When we were there, the passing cars rocked your crib and my bed frame,
jelly jars repurposed as glasses tinkling on their shelf. Now that the high-speed
rail has come to town, does the train just glide past, swift as a snake
through grass? Do silverfish still slide across the bathroom floor? Are ghosts
of us there, the way we were just the two of us for a time, me single-
parenting it through my early-twenties, you toddling with joy, your hair a halo
of wheat. By the front steps, broken clamshells lined Mary’s half-shell vessel,
and a jumble of ancient farm tools were slowly rusting into the earth
beside the shed. Four years there, a liminal brace of months between the family
we were and the one we built. Remember how you made those block cities,
and my boyfriend knocked them down for you with a strand of Mardi Gras beads,
shiny purple wrecking ball you two called a hurricane necklace, before he was
my husband and your day-to-day dad? You loved it, that easy destruction,
the clatter of breakage that could be fixed right then, and over and again.
Rebecca Hart Olander has poetry that has appeared recently in Brilliant Corners, Yemassee Journal, and Radar Poetry, and her critical work has been published in Rain Taxi Review of Books, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Rebecca lives in Western Massachusetts where she teaches writing at Westfield State University and is the editor/director of Perugia Press. You can find her at rebeccahartolander.com.