The Ballad of Ballard Drive

to Elisa

It sold so quick, that sunny house
standing tall on Ballard Drive.
Behind it in your summer blouse,
you’d watered fennel, phlox and chive,

catmint, kale and morning glory.
But now you’ve moved. Unlike the swallow,
whose wanderings are transitory,
you’ll not be coming back. You follow

winds that waft from north to south
and have no hunger to return
to a province from whose icy mouth
coughs fierce nor’easters. Yet there churn,

somewhere within, far-off Atlantic
hurricanes: your new exquisite
villa mixed with your friend’s gigantic
fear of flying. Will he visit?

Somehow he carries on alone,
a guy to whom you’ve gifted shirts
and slacks. He carries on. The phone
forever off the hook, he flirts

with fears of living on the street.
He’d walked her lots, that little pup
wedged tight beneath your window seat
while, from the airport, peering up,

he’d watched your jet pass out of sight.
He’s trudging through a snowstorm past
a place whose panes are frosted white,
face pressed against the blizzard’s blast

while, shielded from the tempest’s roar,
a dad reads news, a mom chops salad,
a boy colors in a dinosaur,
and that concludes this Ballard ballad.


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