Run, don’t walk
to the Starbucks on Grand Avenue
where you will walk in a cynic
stunted by years of lessons learned,
the avalanche of a too-distant father
who bequeathed to you his guilt,
a freckled girl in a short skirt who stole your easy confidence,
a mother who saw only with an evaluating eye.
You carried all these things like Atlas
faithful only to the world fixed to your tired shoulders.
You will now meet someone who makes you shed your layers,
clothes you toss on the beach
as you run hungry,
wanting your body to be swallowed by the salty water.
Run and meet the stranger behind you
whose order is the same as yours,
whose hand fits perfectly in yours,
who will teach you about coffee and forgiveness:
cream and sugar to lighten today’s dark roast.
And for the first time you will learn what its like to
of guilt that should never have been yours, but his.
That same girl in the same skirt ten years later,
finally feeling what you felt.
Your mother’s features softened by age,
and all that’s left is love and regret, and you let her
sleep peacefully because — finally