by Ann LoLordo
Seek refuge in the grove of black walnuts,
the trees planted at her instructions.
Saplings shy and willowy
as she was in daddy’s arms.
Go there at dusk, when twilight fades
and the dark night envelopes you
like the folds of her winter coat.
Do you remember that December,
winter of ’69. You ran from the house,
crying, the dog dead in the street.
She pulled on that coat and took out
after you, found you sitting
in snow beside the walnut trees.
You ride the back roads in the truck,
hoping she has gone for one of her walkabouts.
You drive and drive, and with each far mile,
realize that you will have to climb
the hill behind the farm,
walk past forsythia, rhododendron
to find her beneath black walnuts,
calling you home.