pieces of someone’s life This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 5, 2010
mathematical equations
of newspapers on the floor
phones held up to ears
yellow erasers
and a long piece of narrow smooth white ribbon, lying abandoned on a playground.
"oh...how He loves us, oh"
Answering the phone while standing in the kitchen looking out the over-the-sink window at the snowy Connecticut winter night:
you’ll be here soon.
I’ll light a fire in the fireplace
and the soup is all ready to be eaten
whenever you finally make it here.

I wrote a letter to you, once
Before we knew each other.
Before we each knew that the other was alive
I was in senior English reading poetry and eating oranges and dreaming up purple squares on the wall.
I didn’t know you then.

that was the year I was in calc 2, with a set of a yellow drafting pencil and eraser:
blue-squared paper, neatly done diagrams and derivatives
poems written in the margins: words rubbed out, then scribbled
in again.
the eraser, long gone.
The pencil I still use, writing notes to myself on the calendar.

I pause, look up: again, you’re nearly here.

as I wait (for you) in time, I go to a museum with a red chair at the front. They don’t know it,
but it knows me: This is my Monday.

the white ribbon—it will show up in our future, is my guess.
once tied around a gift that was opened in the pavilion next to the playground, it was forgotten
and blew off
or maybe it held captive a braid in our daughter’s hair
and loosened and fell as she hung by her knees across a metal bar.

Some things like that, I’m waiting still to find out.
Where they’re from; and what they mean.
In God’s hands...
I’ll try to be patient.
Maybe, someday, we’ll know.

For now? You’re just arriving; I hear your car pulling in the driveway and, any minute,
you’ll be here.

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