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Poem: Shadows 

I am aching.

I hear my bones creak like the front door of your summer home—

Upstate, New York. In late

July of '95,

we were thirteen, and I had never kissed a boy before.

The light in the

sky was pink with tomorrow's heat, and our mothers were in

the kitchen drinking beer,

flicking cigarettes

into a make-shift ashtray.

We would tell our friends at

school we were

like brother and sister, but that summer left us strangers.

You reached for my hand.

That night the lake would

be illuminated by fireworks, and I would get

the courage to tell you

that I thought I was

the reason my father left, and you would kiss my cheek because

you felt the same guilt.

Our sundial hearts

would cast shadows in the yellow porch light, reminding us

we would never be so

young and so old.

Now, I am old, and still young, but I have forgotten how

to tell time with my

heart, and you have

forgotten me—but I promise,

I still ache for the

moments to slow

just as they did

the summer we were thirteen.

  • A poem by Jessica Megan Dammers.


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