Let’s Take the Long Way

by Janis Gaines

Let’s take the long way
Around the park this last time.
Say goodbye to the morning glory
And the blue bird perch
And Mrs. Robinson’s perfect porch.
Remember the kind man
Who always helped the old lady in 309
With her snappy dogs and growly face.
See the summer pool
With its clear memories
Of happy girls and a splash of good times.
Pass the window
Where evil snuck in and snuck out
And the hill where Brandy
Would always make a clean break,
The secret corner where Vodka is buried
And the trail where the homeless dog foraged for food.
Wave goodbye to Chuck and his sweet family
Lisa, who asked you to stay,
And the policeman who came by a time or two.
Don’t forget the rowdy boys upstairs
Who would rollerblade on the kitchen floor,
Or the worn path through the woods,
Or the man who would read books
Late at night — just like you.
Hold on to the hope of Jane Eyre
When the butterfly landed on your shoulder,
And the lovely little Russian girl
Who always made you smile,
And the young soldier who went off
To fight his own battles —
Until it’s time to retrace your steps
And head home
Where there will be no need
To leave your shoes
At the door.

*** Vodka and Brandy are family pets.

© July 11, 2012
Flowery Branch, GA

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