Thursdays

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Do you remember Thursdays?

I remember Thursdays, especially the hot ones.  I remember

sitting on the back porch and waiting for mom to come home,

running my tongue over lemon Popsicles that trickled

like waterfalls down my arms, laughing with you and wanting

to walk around the garden but being too lazy

to get up.  I remember looking out across the yard,

at the gravel path winding between thriving flower beds

and vegetable patches, at the poinsettia that bloomed

against the white wall, looking comically out of place

in a desert garden.  I remember thinking

it was too peaceful a scene to disturb, anyway.

Yesterday was Thursday.

When I stepped out into the backyard, I wondered

when we’d stopped watering the grass, when the once

lively garden had become such a wasteland, like the aftermath

of a bomb.  It couldn’t have lasted long, I thought,

not in this kind of heat, not without love,

without tender hands to care for it.  And I wondered,

as I walked around the garden, kicking off the browned heads

of the dying primroses that creeped into the path,

I wondered when the poinsettia, the only thing

still alive, had started looking like a gunshot wound

against the white wall.

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