I Would Probably Leave Again
If only I hadn’t…but
then we wouldn’t have
taken those first wrong turns,
climbed deceptive steps,
bridges, or driven over slabs
of black ice careening us into
guardrails of dented
reflection, remorse, or, worse—
blame, which has no place in this.
That I wish away myself
as I was in those moments
is a kind of masochistic ritual,
if not suicidal impulse; if not for having
said yes to it all, there would be no
backward glances or anniversaries
absent us, accepting all the
foibles and fractures, also
immeasurable hilarity, such as me
standing on your feet while you
monster walked from hallway
to kitchen, poured another,
then handed it to me.
I cannot wish (can I?)
to minus you from my mistakes, if
that is what they were. I am a problem
child, always loyal to opposition, rebellion,
rejecting contentment and those
laurels no one is allowed to rest on,
forever believing in some ‘better,’
relentlessly restless for some
one thing I can never have
I want to know if I belong
inside the darkness
of this hollow trunk
echoing with questions.
I am set in some ways—
rooted, with scarred bark and
exploding foliage; violent-
minded, too, like a racoon
cornered halfway down, her kits
in a row behind her.
But I feel more like cabin than tree,
built with countless human hands.
My wild inner dweller is still here,
and she often wants me
out of the way. She’s moved in
between my planks, nesting
and defecating and giving birth.
Thumping and scampering
they sound to me like a family
happy to have found a home.
© Lynn Glicklich Cohen
Lynn Glicklich Cohen has been published in Evening Street Review, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Peregrine, St. Katharine Review, and Trampoline. Her novel, A Terrible Case of Beauty, was published by Trebol Press in 2013. Lynn has attended various writing conferences. She received a Master of Social Work from Simmons College in Boston and practiced as a clinical social worker for years in Boston and Baltimore. Lynn plays the cello and is quick with stir-fries and pasta.