Wherever You Go, I Hope You Think of That Time
raking leaves together late in September
while the neighborhood kids play-screamed,
our dog diving in piles of various dead maroon
& gold foliage. I hope you think of the birds
packing all their belongings for the winter. How
I said that I, too, wished we could pick up
and leave every season. Just imagine, I said, when
our friends and family come to visit, and after
knocking on our door with no answer, they
say, “oh! That’s right! It’s winter. They won’t be back
‘til Spring.” I hope you think of washing the laundry,
how we’d take turns folding and putting away.
How when you woke earlier than me, you fed the cats
and dog. And when I was running late for work, you’d
wait by the door to hand me my coat and keys. Wherever
you go, I hope you think of that time of how beautiful
you looked when I was stressed. How calmly you kissed
my face as I ran out the door. How you waved from
the front step, watching our car back out of the driveway,
coffee in hand.
The Summer I Cried in the Target Parking Lot
After taking a pregnancy test in the women’s
bathroom, I cried in the Target parking lot
until every car was gone except for mine.
You asked how I felt, and I said like a bee,
swollen with too much nectar. Like a volcano,
ready to erupt and decimate a city, scorching
everything into dirt & ash. I said like a river,
breaching the banks and flooding my own
home, knowing everyone is still inside.
Love Is a Lot Like a Hot Air Balloon
Say we never went to the Dairy
Queen, licked an ice cream cone
on the concrete bench outside
on a hot summer afternoon.
Say you never loved the way
I watched you watch a movie.
Say we go back in time, unmeet
ourselves and save everyone
all the trouble we cause later;
the house, the park, the ski
trip, your dad having to buy
you a new car. And let us say
that we never meant it, any
of it. We could take back all
the words we said: window, parallel,
forever, some more. Love
is a lot like a hot air balloon–
there is either not enough
to hold us, or so much
that it carries us away.
Andrea Lawler is a poet, essayist, and short story writer. She holds a degree in English Language & Literature. When not reading or writing, you can find her at the local coffee shop. She lives in North Dakota with her three cats.