By Patricia Wellingham-Jones

You stepped down from the banged-up

yellow Ryder rental truck

with its missing window, red

gaffer-taped side mirror, fish-tailed

car trailer and gave me

the biggest smile I’ve seen on your face

since you were six.

Heading out of here, you said,

stretching tight limbs until they popped,

the nose of the truck and your eyes

pointing north. I filled you up

with home-cooked food, gave you

jugs of tea on the creek deck

and stayed myself from flinging my arms

too many times around your grown-up neck.

The cats kept you company all night.

Breakfast among flowers

and great blue heron and kingfisher

then you stepped back up

into that big yellow truck

and were gone.


Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, author of Don’t Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, and Welcome, Babies as well as editor of Labyrinth: Poems & Prose. She has been published widely in print and online journals and anthologies.


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