Leah Browning

Spring, and the Clocks Go Back

Spring, and the clocks go back;
this is where we lose the hour in the drugstore
with the home pregnancy test,
crying in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

Go back, go back, until
dogs long-dead are running free again
behind the house, and it’s the Fourth
of July with water balloons and fireworks

and your borrowed shoes, all those long
drives to Albuquerque, the amusement park ride
that spun us so hard we almost threw up,
the kitten that walked on me in the middle

of the night, everything that happened
before we got older and even the scent
of the laundry detergent Bill’s mother bought
to wash his shirts gave my stomach a pinch

because I loved him so much,
I really did, but then the clocks didn’t stop
and we walked out of the drugstore
into the sunlight and became other people,

and all the animals grew old and died
and one of our fathers had a heart attack
and now we can never go back,
and to tell you the truth I don’t want to go back;

even though there is gray in our hair and the babies
are grown I almost always still want to keep going

except spring when I remember lime sherbet
and lying on the pull-out couch watching old movies
and your parents’ new station wagon with the bench seat
that was always turned to face the road behind us.


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