By Deborah Bacharach
PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...
I want to hug Marcie in her orange home-knit sweater. I can see her now coming down Greenwood past the buff work-out boys, coming to see me so we can wiggle and sweat in Zumba and then return our library books and talk about our daughters who will be leaving us soon for college. Oh, to throw my arms around Elizabeth whom I have known and loved since I was five when she would explode volcanoes of logic and mystery in the backseat of the yellow station wagon. I remember the dolls in green velvet we snuggled. I want to hold quick and close Katherine before we get tangled up in her dogs’ leashes and Kathryn before we sit down for pale green tea. And also Michele because her friend has a tumor and Danette who shares her secret love for fan dancing. I want to hug Becky, Nancy, Deirdre, Pam, Peggy, Danika, Jessica, Heidi, Melissa. I have a list one hundred women long. Longer.
At dusk, I leave home
to find a thick birch trunk, wrap
all the way around.
Deborah Bacharach is the author of Shake and Tremor (Grayson Books, 2021) and After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). She has been published in Vallum, Poet Lore, and The Southampton Review, among many other journals. She is an editor and tutor in Seattle, WA.