The Shutterfly edition
Bill was an outdoorsman,
Phil, a door-to-door salesman.
The first made hats out of rabbits,
the second pulled rabbits out of hats.
though cut from the same cloth,
had been sewn into different patterns.
Though they didn’t always understand one another
when it came to what they liked to do for fun,
they shared what it was like to be
the children of the people
only they had ever known as parents.
He was a loiterer,
she, a litterer.
It was a match made in Lincken Park,
for what was trash to her
was treasure to him.
When she cleaned up her act,
he found a new trade as a junk collector
& she, a junk dealer.
When they reconnected on a park bench
over brown-bagged tuna fish sandwiches,
they went into business together,
making bank from Marie Kondo’s
She was the honoree at every society,
the awardee at every ceremony,
& the All-American, Latin-speaking valedictorian
who immersed herself in the Greek life.
He was the backseat driver of the clown car
in Driver’s Ed one summer
for the non-criminally offensive,
the 1-liner, 49er during last period Study Hall
for 4 straight years,
& the cafeteria cut-up on Fried Chicken Day.
When these 2 met at their 20-year high school reunion,
she realized that her accomplishments
were what she was able to make herself do,
what he was able to make others do,
which was to laugh & forget—
even if it was just for a moment—
about why they were crying.
Mary Katherine McFeeney
of Washingham High School,
Class of 1988,
had been a “Who’s Who?” in her heyday,
but Hellen Devlin,
the girl who’d watched M.K.
since their freshman year—
becoming an unofficial M.K.M. scholar
& penning the M.K.M. Fictionary—
had wondered why & how
“the girl most likely
to spread more than good cheer”
had ever achieved such acclaim,
for M.K. had never known what was what
who was on first . . .
& second . . .
giving the word “Homecoming”
a whole ‘nother meaning.
Born a “Children of the Damned” blond,
The Girl grew up believing
that she became invisible
whenever she closed her eyes—
only to realize that with invisibility
but as she grew & her hair darkened,
she actually got brighter,
that is, until she became nostalgic
for her happy-go-bumpy childhood,
& she reverted to the bottle,
lamenting the dark roots
that were just a branch
of the Black Irish part
of her family tree.
He had a face for radio,
she, a voice for print journalism.
They were only 10’s,
if they were added together,
so they married not up
but equal to one another—
with her writing what he said
& him saying what she wrote,
they lived fair-to-middlin’ ever after.
When Sarah went back in time,
she faced herself at age 17,
but the young Sarah
didn’t recognize the older Sarah.
The older Sarah,
now Sarah R.,
wanted to tell the young Sarah
that it would be 20 years
before she figured it all out.
She wanted to tell her not to wait—
to do what she’d missed out on the first time
all those years ago,
until she realized that to change a minute
might change everything.
Had her child not been born,
she could’ve done just that,
but she had to let then Sarah B.
find her own way—
just as she had.
This old Sarah who was the young Sarah
looked her way once more,
& the newer but older Sarah saw
a gleam of admiration in that brown-eyed girl
she once was.
And it was then
that the 37-year-old Sarah
seeing a woman who looked like her
all those years ago.