i'm driving down a residential street
kids chattering away in the back seat
when I'm sideswiped.
not by another car, no.
by a memory.
it's a simple one. one that will mean nothing you
unless you were There
I'm running down the dim, red carpeted hallway, inhaling the smell of her cooking well before I can see her. And then there she is, all slacks and blouse, plump and smiling, arms held open wide, ready for my accelerated hug.
and i'm at a stoplight
foot on the gas and I go back under
a tidal wave of memory
I'm kneeling on the living room floor, keeping a close eye on my firstborn daughter, all curls and big eyes. There's a lot she could break here – knickknacks right in her reach. My other eye and both ears are on the figure in the recliner, so much smaller and thinner than ever before. She talks about how little she feels like eating these days. A bite of cantaloupe for lunch. And she marvels at that big, healthy baby – she just drinks your milk?? I think this could be the last time I'll see her. Does she know that, too? I lean into my goodbye.
eliza asks another question, insisting for an answer this time.
the steering wheel is firm under my hands.
i recover my voice
we're almost Home.