By Ruthie Voth

seventeen years ago,
you were the center of my universe.
major events rocked our world
but i was oblivious.

in your tiny, newfound luxury
were a tonic to my lonely heart,
a refuge from the overwhelming,
a gift more hard-earned than a freshwater pearl.

your joy as you grew
defined the outline of our days —
autumn running through apple orchards,
rain water rushing through a parking lot grate,
Hop on Pop and Brown Bear, Brown Bear
over and over again:
little novelties-
smile-inducing moments,

you and your brown-eyed sparkling smile.
quiet boy, so self-controlled —
but you never could hide the happy.

out of all of the memories
locked away by time,
these few trickle through the cracks,
collecting in a secret corner of my mind,
a cool draft to refresh the dry spells of
life without my baby.


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