Yes, you are happy.
I see you lying on your back
under the steamy green of an aurora.
Only you saw the heat lightening pulse,
felt the burning in the cool stars
singe your tee-shirt, your hair.
After the divorce, you began chasing fireflies
and searching for UFOs. The blinking lights
threw flecks on the water and
drew you to the waves curled at your feet
and the men who embraced you in a sleeping bag.
Now the sleeping bags are empty, the wind
an autumn wind. A tire washes up on the beach
with some gnarled seaweed and you think of the children,
all grown. The wind is light and playful in your hair
like the hands that groped to touch you,
my father’s and the others. I do not know the others.
Their cigarettes dance with yours and quickly
burn out. Mostly you do not dance.
Sometimes I think it is this remoteness
which bends you as you pat your fern leaves
and smile at your new husband
when he does the barbecuing. You love his clean shirts
which are so easy to press.
In the dark his touch is all of them
and none of them.
Robin Dawn Hudechek
First appeared in Incidental Buildings & Accidental Beauty: An Anthology of Orange County/ Long Beach Poets, 2001, Caliban 8, and in Ghost Walk, a chapbook