Various and Sundry Poetry

and when she returned

and when she returned to the street she came from,
stopping courteously for the dogs and toddlers being herded
away from last night’s puddles, when she drove past the redwoods
holding court over the sweet Craftsmans and greeted her neighbor’s
green lawn, when she saw the plum tree’s spilled offerings on the road,
small maroon orbs dotting the gravel, when she watched the mailman
dip into his canvas bag for this neighborhood’s turn at the latest
Crate & Barrel catalogue, when she saw this picturesque town
bathed in the warm, lilac-scented glow of such comfort, she thought
of all the breezy afternoons she had spent here, how it once was
so simple to walk out the door and into the welcome arms of these suburbs,
how the plantings in her own yard - which she had helped purchase
and then lift into the earth to flourish – were, in fact, now flourishing,
and how, as much as she had tried to keep her own soul watered and fed,
it hadn’t quite succeeded here, in this pleasant bedroom community, where
it was easy to park and find a dentist, where she did not have to look far
for a good bike ride, where she could buy fleshy heirloom tomatoes
so perfect and red they made her want to cry, but where she was
without her luster, her bright heart, her stretch and stride, and where
she knew she couldn't stay, in spite of all these ripe gifts, that in order
to lift herself to the right soil, she would have to locate some other spot of earth,
to leave this placid scene, to find an address that gave her a new kind of serenity,
perhaps another life entirely, where she could, at last, through an open window,
recognize herself.