Can’t Stay

The Mickey Mouse in the front steps railing makes me smile 

When Tom pointed it out and still let us rent with a looming bankruptcy 

I said I grew up a block away and he knew my dad as a police officer at the bank

Dragging bodies from the lake being the hardest part of the job

Not showing up on a college girls’ doorstep, collecting on the cab fare she tried to skip out on

My dad rumpled and sleepy handed over a twenty dollar bill

I don’t remember if it was mentioned again in the household

And now she has travelled so many miles, continents and coasts, to be here again

My dad and I still don’t talk about those days and Tom has since passed

But I’m here on a perfect Sunday morning, under the birch tree he planted and the ancient elm that oversees us both

A block from my old house, and the memories I carry

How to love myself as I should have been. Is it even possible. 

But I’m here. Still here. 


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