Why not a meadow?
Why not a little clearing and a stream
to wade in? Why not take our pants off,
a little respite from our partners
who couldn’t see us, who’d never see us
no matter what we did? What we did was wrong,
the way we did it. It was miraculous,
it took hold long after
we trudged back to our spouses.
So many years harboring a secret.
Thank you for telling me
about growing up in Queens, daddy’s
milk truck skittering about Northern Boulevard
looking for your favorite ice cream.
And the darkness: how shades were drawn,
how your mother would never recover
from your father. How many of us
have been stymied by those early dramas
until we married them? So many years,
so many hungry years after.
Thank you for the apricots in the mail,
thank you more for appearing at my door
with so little time left: no going back
to field our regrets. Old
as we are, you are here and now,
why not a meadow and a clearing?
– Ira Sadoff
Copyright © 2023 by Ira Sadoff. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 1, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.