Cold ravioli at midnight
as I argued politics with your mother.
A tumbler of red wine at noon
when your father urged me never
to give up on love.
At the farmhouse you grew up in,
I slept in your sister's bedroom
as if it were mine. I woke
to a swaying pattern of fig leaf shadows
on a yellowed window shade
and the voices of cherry pickers.
You took me out in the orchard,
deep enough so that all we could see
were rows of trunks under leaves,
a grid of trees picked clean in dry valley dirt.
Every place we stood was the center
of an X, infinite choices. I lost my sense
of direction, but you knew the way home
from bisque-fired tractor prints.
I'd go back if I could.
Not to the place, but the day
I was part of your family, overwhelmed
by possibilities, gorging on cherries.
First published in Southern Poetry Review
Included in the chapbook Scavenger Hunt