walk down longwoods lane

the air here is heavy, dense with scent

branches sway gently, the emerald grass is silently lush

the back of my skirt flutters against my heels as I step

just the same as fifteen years ago, I am entranced

by fountains and flowers, the Chimes Tower and Eye of Water.

I, the fairy unicorn princess, traipse bare-footed

by gurgling stream, the rush-rush-still waterfall.

If my baby self saw this Me,

they would find it majestic. Even beautiful?

When is the light show? I must remember

what Grandma’s smile looked like

packed/storage: south jersey

tight chest & gleamy eyes

gaping out the window at some memories

which flow over the wide grasses

the flickering trees that flash by

as sunlight dapples, shades, twists

a hint of nostalgia, the recall

of something good. Spring has sprung

what can I fear? this is real, I think

or at least I was

loved here once

gator ride through the orchard (easter)

the tractor growled, and we flew down the hill,

twisting, turning through the trees

steering handle spinning as we snuck past the fence

“This is illegal, by the way”

the grandkids are screaming, half fear, half delight

that grandpa would do something so reckless.

mentally, I am careening back across that Arcade highway

the snowplow shatters us again! I snap back to reality

jolting, the grass is high and the road is rubble

the steep hill we are climbing, fast

like the road to Kidepo, soaring over the stony hills

swerving, sliding around in the loose shale

even the dirt matches, it is orange dust

and I am 12 years old again, home and free

after burning season, the grass comes back this green

and the ash leaves charcoal traces all over your white skin.