L. K. Thayer
If... - Poem by L. K. Thayer
I’ve laid in bed at my grandparent’s
house, the one at the lake
where my mother still lives
and heard the train whistle blow
from across the water, echo
the sound of home.
the smell of lilacs and suntan lotion
the sound of Loons calling for
their mate and I wonder,
if my dad hadn’t left
would I have a mated too?
did he look for me in my toy box
playing with my dolls?
did he see me come home with
bloody toes from riding my tricycle
barefoot up to the corner store for candy?
on the front lawn, he bounced a beach ball
on my head, that was him wasn’t it?
I waited for him to meet me after school
he never showed,
we didn’t know what happened to him or
where he had gone.
I found him later, across from me
stuttering in the booth at the delicatessen off hi-way 12.
I was 18. I was with my brother, who couldn’t
yet walk, when he split. His parents
lived just down the block, they never came
to see us. He sent music &
cards after we met & wrote I love you in crooked script.
I didn’t think him sending me the song Lisa, Sad Lisa,
by Cat Stevens, was a very thoughtful gift,
but he was never
really tuned in so how would he know.
he called me a few times, his voice
hollow, I didn’t like
the sound of him.
don’t call back.
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