Autumn 1970

Whisked out into the cold fall air
I remember no words spoken
just the unnerving strangeness of
a night journey
My father driving us in the car
having been spirited from our beds
and wearing heavy coats over pajamas
our footie-feet scratching over leaves as we hurried out
four together on the back seat as we drove

Even the neighbors who opened their door to us
are faceless in my memory
their warmly lit home a sanctuary from
a sudden chill and darkness
They offered a snack at their kitchen table
but it was already too late to be out
so it was much too late for a snack
and the missing pieces and broken rules
unsettled me

Only the silent face of the neighbors’ sunburst clock
seemed to mirror my own
and together we kept order
in knowing agreement that it was, in fact
too late for a drive, for a visit, for a snack
too late for rules and innocence and promises
Because it was too late for the new baby
who shared my mother’s name and who – I had been promised –
would always be my sister

#52for52 (22/52)

5 thoughts on “Autumn 1970

    • Oh, Molly….I was going to say, “I didn’t know”, but then how would I? Over time, these become private, family griefs. I’m so glad you spoke Bridget’s name here and I will add our Kate’s, and by doing so together we will affirm that they were here, and that, however briefly, they were our sisters. ❤️


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