As Dusk Fell on Sixteenth Avenue
The almost invisible world
taps against the windows, now the overhead light
in the kitchen switched on. Your mother humming,
chopping the yellow onion, setting the cast-iron pan
to heat, soon the sound the smell that meant:
Practice the piano, feed the dog and cats
and fish and gerbils before they eat each other.
Your dad is coming home soon
bringing through the front door
the cool shift of evening
the thud thud thud of his work shoes
punctuated by his “yellow!”
You have not practiced the piano.
You have not folded the laundry.
You have not turned on the lamp
in the living room, instead are sitting
in the blue and leaving light hoping it erases you
like it has the world, leaves you alone
in the imagined house in the canopy of the tree
with your bird heart and iridescent dreams
of the song your someday lover will sing
that will find you as you are, nestled
and ready. The yard now empty of everything
Editor’s Note: This memory poem juxtaposes the present with the past, illuminating all its difficulties with love and light.