Midwestern summers of my youth sprawled,
protracted and stifling. How many days
did I while away gazing at clouds,
at blue sky through green leaves? How many
nights longing for something I did not know
I was missing? None of the scraped Volkswagens
or blunt Gremlins rumbling past were yours,
no puff of escaped smoke. Now, two children
later, grass prickles and crawls, threat
of creeping things bearing sicknesses. Meadow
weeds give way to the occasional cow,
maples outgrow their usefulness. Can I have
a do-over, another chance at pushing out
two separate creatures shading pink and blue?
I remember a Bach-washed room, a midwife—
mother to a supermodel—her Swedish cheekbones.
You took photos out the birthing room window:
the West Side perpetually under construction,
gray Hudson pulsing, taunt of the Palisades.
Lavender always conjures your massage the nights
I labored, my fields forever out of view.
Amy Lemmon is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Miracles (C&R Press, 2019). Her poems and essays have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Rolling Stone, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Verse, Court Green, The Journal, Marginalia, and many other magazines and anthologies. Amy is Professor and Chairperson of English and Communication Studies at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, where she teaches Poetry Writing, creative writing, and creativity studies classes, and co-editor (with Sarah Freligh) of The CDC Poetry Project.