by Joanne Alfano
After you left
I saw your smile in your sketch of a bird.
I found your butterfly trinket on my dresser
next to your picture.
The soiled clothes by your bed remind me
how tall you’ve grown
and what an agile little body you have.
Everywhere I look there is evidence
of youth brightness sweetness.
Your (for now) toothless smile and long ebony hair
draw me from photo to memory
and I am lost to you.
We play cards, do “arts and crafts,”
read together and snuggle.
I feel warm hands in mine and I long to hug you
and hold on to your youth so that I won’t grow old
or so that I can grow old with you as you grow
You glide from rainbow to unicorn
while I hobble from walker to chair
You have become the rainbow in my life
and the pot of gold too.
You laugh and I laugh with you.
I want this joy in my life
I need it
for aging can be scary
if the only life I look forward to
is my own.
by Joanne Alfano
you could have
glistened into my life
like a mermaid
instead you sneak in
bearing “gifts” that
demand my attention
your voice cuts through me
like scissors through gift wrap
even my wombspace cringes
no ordinary trinkets
these medals and ribbons
Joanne Alfano, writing has been art, craft, creation, recreation, necessity, passion, sedation, seduction, microscope, telescope, celebration, eulogy, and memoir. She has recently published in Poets to Come: A Poetry Anthology, by The Walt Whitman Bicentennial, NOVA Bards: An Anthology of Northern Virginia Poetry, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Editions and in Poets Anonymous: 25 and Beyond. After a career in federal human resources systems, mostly in the Washington, DC area, she retired and lives in Lakeland, Florida with her life partner. She enjoys family, writing and reading, old movies, and creative play with her granddaughter.