By and By

Barrettes too small to cope with all that hair,
a turquoise winter coat with orange trim,
galoshes with one denim leg tucked in.
You, in our back yard, just standing there.

“Hey, Kate, how old are you?” I asked, aware
the question sounded strange coming from me.
“Nine,” you laughed, as if you’d always be
a child at play with Saturdays to spare,

as if there were no future and no past,
as if the miles, and more, had yet to kill
our sisterhood. I heard the kettle cry,

reminding me this meeting couldn’t last,
and so I memorized your face until
I woke, and thirty years went whistling by.

Rose Kelleher

If you have any comments on this poem, Rose Kelleher would be pleased to hear them.

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