I am remembering
a young woman I met
who pulled out her phone
to share a photograph of a mother
she missed while at college, smiled wide
and scrolled down her contacts
pointing to the name – My Everything.
That’s my mother’s number, she said.
That was a month ago.
I’ve been back from Rwanda,
doing laundry in a machine
instead of the bucket,
have baked tofu with fresh ginger,
lemon grass, and soy sauce
not thinking of the beans and rice.
And I have been renaming
my contacts, new names for everyone –
My Rock, He Whose Hair Smells Like Sun,
Bluest Eyes, Get Ready For An Hour-Long Conversation,
Let Go To Voice Mail, She Who Makes Me Laugh,
Will Have Gossip, Best Thai Food…
feeling like I am on scattered pathways
from a garden, seeded
in wild things.
She was selected for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference both times she applied. One poem was nominated for best of Net in 2017. Recent work appears in Chautauqua Literary Magazine, RHINO, and The Sewanee Review.