Change, don’t come knocking

like some door-to-door salesman, chatty
asking about my kids, trying to sell me
windows like some long view into tomorrow
Is it future I want? That small reward
like chocolate after broccoli, the thing
to get past to get to the thing—

(I am poised here, perhaps; to yearn
back is to fall, to yearn forward is also)

Change, don’t come knocking with glowing
reviews, promises, predictions of my want
to pretend my footing is sound; I talk myself
into steady plodding content

(Change, come spilling earthward
a glitter-sharp breeze, a bright flitting
bird singing mysteries

or a quiet cooling touch
soothing shadow
in the night)

For a long-lost friend

wednesday was your birthday and yes I still remember

freshman year, walking in hot spring, holding hands
sitting in the sharp grass of our front yard (you could
bike over, then) talking and talking, devastating
the grass, writing long notes on loose-leaf paper
that you called “letters”

and I returned from summer vacation and didn’t return
your calls, how you wrote te quiero on the first day
of sophomore English, but I hadn’t learned that much
Spanish yet

playing Mr. and Mrs. Shakespeare, senior year, learning
some girl was jealous (perhaps unrelated) though

you drove us in your mother’s station wagon
to that Something Club dinner where they read
our words—scholarship stuff—and after we talked
and talked (cassette tapes on the car stereo) as fate
would have it, my future husband called to ask me out
just as I walked in the door

and graduation day, in our red robes and gold cords
and all the trappings, milling around the giant hall
actually called the Coliseum, of six hundred-plus
also-robed kids there you were, running your speech
by a bank of phones; I wanted to call
your attention once more
and lifted a receiver


NaPoWriMo Day 29 prompt is an “I remember” poem.