Just yesterday

the tree in front of our house was full

of burnt orange leaves.

Today, they are gone.

Gone in one day.

What deep sorrow for

this shocking



I did not even have the chance to digest

that they were leaving

or to say good bye.

There was a day when our daughter,

our youngest child,

had both of her top baby teeth,

and then

one fell and was replaced by a hole

and then the other

which were filled by new,


bigger teeth

and her face,

her little girl face,

was changed irrevocably.


Yesterday I was a virgin

Today I have been penetrated spasmodically on a basement couch.

Today I am a mother holding her newborn son.

Yesterday I was not.


I was not a mother.





The bare tree looks so pathetic

and exposed today.

All of a sudden.

How can it be that our beautiful daughter

(still beautiful now)

has a permanent scar on her upper lip

from that dog bite,

and that her untouched face

is gone forever?

How can my own childhood,

the one that was not innocent enough,

be lost?

My youthful body?

only memory and photos.

And how can you

look so different

(though still handsome)

from the first summer we met?

I lament

the time when we had not

hurt each other so badly.

It is impossible to relive–

no matter how good we are to each other now.

There is no starting over.


right now,

that tree makes me sick.