Life is you (I mean me) and the new one (baby)
and the other one who comes and goes (husband).
And there is love hanging like fine mist,
a dewy glow on skin. And there is loneliness,
too, in this shrunken world, unpeopled except
for Bob Barker and the Young and the Restless.
One day you (I) and the new one (baby)
met another you (Maria) with her own new one (baby),
and the foggy days of hard love that stretched for miles
became brighter, quicker. We (Maria and I) fed
on friendship, raised each other while we raised our babies,
while our husbands talked mowers and mortgages.
Did you (I) mention she was beautiful? Like a sunflower.
Whither thou goest, I will go. But this is not the Book of Ruth.
The first time Maria left me (by then
I had become myself), it was her husband’s fault.
A job took them half a country away while I stayed
planted in Michigan’s fertile, lonesome soil.
We relied on the umbilical of the phone cord.
The second leaving came after Hannah died.
Maria’s baby. I can say their names now.
I don’t know where babies, or any of us, go after dying.
And I don’t know where Maria went after the dying, in order to live.
Teacher and professor Ann Weil earned her doctorate in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan and now lives and writes in Ann Arbor and Key West. Her poetry can be read or is forthcoming in such publications as Crab Creek Review, Whale Road Review, Eastern Iowa Review, Shooter Literary Magazine, Halfway Down the Stairs, and San Pedro River Review.