"We're trying again,"
she told her friend across the table.
I was just close enough to hear
her say it quietly.
She was stirring her coffee very slowly,
looked down, pulling things together
in her mind -- there was a small smile.
"Oh? Really..." her friend managed
a moment later.
There was a long silence.
I moved past them, out the door,
and onto the sidewalk.
Babies, boyfriends, all manner of
things well-intended: I began making
a list of what she could have meant.
I kept trying to decide how much
desperation there was in that smile.
Yes, they were.
Again today, we pick up our pieces,
make piles of our broken things
and stitch our seams tight as we can
against the waves and wind,
all these ordinary human afternoons
that batter the tiny homes
and hopeful stairs we've stacked
to lead us, up,
to where we most want to be.
back to issue 11
take me home