pitstop, march 18

FB ‘on this day’ reminds me that three years ago today I’d packed up all three kids for a two day road trip to southern California. The caption of the post, “Pitstop. Yep, they’re are still here,” above a photo that I’d taken at a stop in Medford. The trunk of the Jeep is open, rear door high up pointing toward the sky. Rear trunk space bursting at the seams with everything we can hope to need for what should have been a spring break getaway. Firework burst of flowers on an army style duffle, full of who knows what but will eventually be emptied and used as a dirty clothes bag, laying on it’s side toward the front and surely being squished when the rear door slams down. Pink yoga mat crammed into an in-between space, duffle bags on one side and backpacks on the other. One of the girl’s gray and neon green track shoes peeking out of a paper grocery bag on the left. Red carry-on suitcase stacked on top of black and white polka dot duffle bag on the right. Pastel butterfly pillow perched atop it all, easily accessible to the lazy arm of my 9 year old when she gets sleepy. Above all of this, in the narrow space between luggage and the soft of the gray roof, peek the smiling faces of my three children. They’re in the backseat, turned around facing back, propped up high on their knees, peering out with goofy grinned faces. My son is in the middle between his two big sisters. His hands up by his ears, a shoe in each hand dangling by his fingertips look like giant puppy dog ears on either side of his head. All three kids eager to arrive at our destination the next day. Excited to see friends and family and the familiar places of what used to be home.
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i stand alone

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i stand alone in a room
empty doorway in
empty doorway out
blue carpet
gray walls
no chairs
white flowers in black ceramic pots
a skirted table
i can’t remember the color of the skirted cloth
polished mahogany box
free of adornment
set on the skirted table
whose skirted cloth color I can’t remember
i’m alone
yet I’m not the only body in the room
two bodies
skin head arms legs face hands feet hair nose fingers eyes lips
two faces that look so much alike
mirrors of each other
one younger
one older
the same high cheekbones
the same full lips
the same almond shaped eyes
the same blood embodied in veins
one flowing and warm
one still and cold
a heart that no longer beats
a heart that is broken, yet still beats
my heart
broken
i stand alone in a room
with tears streaming
i caress her soft cheek
and say one final goodbye