He leaves a quarter on bed sheets
and say thanks for the Sunday schooling.
She has always preferred curling ears around his tales
to using fingers and tongue to spin her own.
Her hand presses to vacant mattress
searching for remnants of warmth.
He has taken all of summer with him
and despite suggestions she trims her hair
instead of allowing him to weave inside and drag her off.
Solemnity settles in the back of throat.
She spreads her pavement over feet,
solidifying stump to floorboards.
This is her home.
Fastened to this place in patient stubbornness,
she turns lonely as the seasons
pop their joints and reposition their wrists.
The quickening of wind,
slap of branch to window,
yelp of swinging gate,
a collection of relics resembling the way
his legs dart and dash.
There is still a pulse fluttering in neck
that wishes his return.
A chip of bone in inner ear
listening for his knock on the door.
But not all bricks form paths paved in gold,
not everyone is looking to find their way home.
She sinks stagnate,
settled and sliced,
opened up for him to take all he needs,
and leave the rest on beaten trail
to sulk to seeds.
“Hestia” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011).