At My Friend’s 40th Birthday Party
I am drunk on one glass of cheap wine. The girls
from high school all have children as old
as we were when we met. The gang has disbanded,
went ways so separate that no one remembers
the last time we swapped updates, how many
lines have been added to our faces since.
A whole pig blisters on a spit, side dishes
line a table under a canopy. My sons stayed
home with my husband. Guilt follows me
through the yard, into the new sun porch,
the open-concept kitchen with plum paint
and a peninsula instead of an island. I am
floating in memories so far from land
they no longer seem real. Edges blur, mirages
of nursing our young, birthing second
husbands and lives into being. There is talk
of hairstyles and jewelry, vegetarianism
and middle school. We summarize the personalities
of our sons and daughters as we touch pieces
of each other, lift a curl, admire a necklace,
survey the damage of each decade on hips,
asses. Most of our parents are dead
or arthritic. We meant to stay in touch, promise
we will from now on. I swim the ten miles
home without missing a single stroke,
without looking back any more than I have to.
© April Salzano
April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry, for which she is seeking a publisher and is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Montucky Review, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow, and Rattle. The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.
David Eberhardt said:
This might just as well be prose- now- as prose, let me read it and see what i think.
Time, Loss and sadness slipping away…prose or poetry, its the Heart’s work!