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And then I began to muse, the way
all of us do who have been let down,
betrayed, left to wander room to room,
taking a stack of dishtowels from the kitchen,
packing the hand-me-down flower pot
with its hairline crack.
Certain moments arrive abrupt as the siren
now blaring through the traffic signal
at Southwest 6th and Madison,
where the divorce finally delivered me.
To be clear: I don’t regret anything
except the lost box of paintings our son made
of our old life. There was one
of our unmade bed, its blue percale sheets,
wrinkled in the painting,
our two haphazard pillows.
When he was young, all those mornings
he stood at the foot of that bed
and we invited him in. And later,
laughter, the three of us. Sunlight
warming the stone terrace.
If I lived there still
I would walk out barefoot.
Copyright 2018 Andrea Hollander
Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011, after many years in the Arkansas Ozarks, where she ran a bed & breakfast for 15 years and served as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College for 22. Hollander’s 5th full-length poetry collection, Blue Mistaken for Sky, is due from Autumn House Press in September 2018. Her 4th was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; her 1st won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Hollander’s many other honors include the Vern Rutsala Award, an Oregon Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts.