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by Janet Granger
I went back to the old neighborhood to a party and
saw many of my parents' old friends.
They are now old and frail,
wrinkled up in shapes I barely recognized,
always shorter than I remembered.
The women, faces gaunt in their fashionable dresses,
hug me and asked about my children and my mother.
The men pierce me with their gaze,
aware of my womanhood;
some are not sure who I am and,
without their wives for prompting,
they ignore me and move on. Others, more bold,
fix their sights on me.
I feel the chilly breeze of not being dressed
on the first bright day of spring,
when we expose ourselves to the sun
in the ecstasy of its light and are
betrayed by the steely frigid breeze of winter.
I stare back at them,
rubbing my arms to ward off the
cold blatant stares,
or I run, pulling my warm memories close around me
in woolly sadness.
I realize I am the age of my mother
when they were all friends.
Inside, they do not realize that I am still the small child
hidden in the darkness at the top of the stairs as they
put their coats into the closet and go in to the party.
I'm still the small child
at the top
of the stairs.
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Document last modified on: 02/15/1997