, , ,

Washington. DC, 1945, Los Angeles, CA, 1958
Alameda, CA, 2014

Their clothing, exuberant Technicolor
reds and greens and yellows,
mother, father, three children
boarding a streetcar in San Francisco,
old friends of my parents,
unseen for fifty years
until this dream.
Smiling, laughing, they wave and call to us:
my parents, long-dead, my sister, and me,
all young.

Guilt caught my heart, stopped my breath,
when I heard, age twelve, that their first,
a daughter my age, had died in her crib,
while I had lived. Two more came to them;
the first left behind.

We moved to L. A. that year,
visited them; not a swimmer,
I stood in their small, tree-shadowed
pool and wondered,
unhappy thought of the unloved,
if they hated me for breathing.

But there she was last night,
tartan skirt, red sweater,
taller than the other two,
caught up at last.