Could Have Been
photographs by Julie Blackmon
This, then, is the childhood
You didn’t have--the boisterous
Cousinry, your own siblings
Everywhere, spilling out of a many-
Windowed house with slanting
Dusk-tiled roofs, copious staircases
And high rooms, sluggishly
Deserting the cooling pool
For the lawn’s fever of fireflies
Or being put to bed in shared
Quarters of shabby affluence.
But let’s hear it for the family
And life you did get: the vivid
Longings, fraught love seeping
Out the corners of fuzzy first
Days of school or torrid
Christmas Eves around small tables
(Hard-bought toys thronging the tree)--
Let’s hear it for complicated
Tenderness, and frayed ties
Tougher than the sturdiest lintel.
This poem was published in the chapbook Unlearning (Coal City Press, 2018).
Laura Chalar was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. She is a lawyer and writer whose most recent poetry collection, Unlearning, was published by Coal City Press in 2018. Her short story collection The Guardian Angel of Lawyers was published by Roundabout Press in 2018.
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