A Return

Gillian Kessler Poetry

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It’s your smile that calls me back.

Your smile and those eyes,

brown and trusting,

now grown-up,

they’ve seen it all,

a mom gone on the bathroom floor,

your pink ruffled dress

ready to celebrate,

the loss and loss and

cops to call and foster homes,

not like the happy ones you see in the movies,

you say,

not where they take care of you but where

they trap you in your room,

attach a security device to the door so you

hit the floor

run and run

lying motionless in a closet

snuck in at night,

anything to be held by family,

while their pills spill,

needles and gold,

how young and pretty I remember your mom

articulate like you

the way you instruct your daughter

to throw her trash in the can,

take a break from the bars,

her calloused hands and

adoring eyes and you talk

about hard work,

talk about suffering,

everything about you so lovely,

so poised,

so together and I wonder

was it really me who taught you

to read and write,

was that us

all those years ago?



About the Author

Gillian Kessler

Gillian Kessler can be found dancing to loud music, teaching exuberant children to appreciate language, writing in the early morning when everyone is asleep and exploring the wilds of Montana with her beautiful family. Read more about her eclectic and full life at .

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