THE LAST TIME there was a full moon
at summer solstice
I was 14,
wondering what my life would be.
Nothing had yet happened in it.
Or the opposite is true,
so much of what would matter
already set in place.
Tiger lilies lined the road
that led to Mt. Hope pond
where we swam.
They swayed in the breeze of Mom’s passing car,
carefree and bold as could be,
standing right out there at the edge,
fearless and reaching.
I was taller than most of the kids in my grade that June.
At summer’s end we’d all head to high school,
which, after years of listening
to older siblings and understanding very little,
terrified me. No joke.
Failure awaited me there, I was convinced,
and my only hope
was to get out alive
with as few people as possible noticing me.
I may still carry that in the bottom of my bag somewhere.
These days I take a back road
to the post office
just to pass the house
with the stand of tiger lilies,
brilliant and unafraid in the heat of the June sun on the longest days,
and purchase airline tickets
for September’s reunion.
I try never to miss.