by Deirdre Lockwood

You had to turn down Swampy Dog Road.
An old New England farmhouse, set back

from the road. Too many books,
Moroccan rugs, furniture inherited

or acquired. A poster of Amelia Earhart:
Women Fly. That summer we took care of it

while your professor and her partner were away.
We fed the cats, watered the garden, slept

in their bed upstairs. I was allergic, but greedy
for the space and something else, which seemed,

despite their absence, so well tended. We picked
their basil and made pesto—the first time

I’d tasted it. One morning you got up early
to surprise me with scones. Each day

I slipped my hand in blind and chose
three angels from the indigo bowl

on the bathroom sink, propped them
up on the mirror lip. Kindness, Clarity,

Presence. Upstairs we thrilled each other
the way I imagined they did, until

that morning I admitted it. The stairs
must have had a woven runner

I scampered down. I must have brushed
the rocking chair, the yellow formica

table, the yawning back door.

Deirdre Lockwood is a poet and fiction writer based in Seattle. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, The Threepenny Review, The Yale Review and elsewhere. She has an MFA in poetry from Boston University and a PhD in oceanography.