The me that is less than four years old, uneven bangs, uneven pigtails, a cotton long sleeve pajama top with pink (what? Stars? Dots? Hard to tell). In front of a collage poster of an astronaut, a rocket launch or three, the solar system, a moon landing. The photo – a Polaroid – is scratched, uncared for. What did I know then of who I’d become?
The me on the rock, which we’ve painted in honor of a dear friend’s 19th birthday. A thinnest version of myself, and tannest And pitchiest, the high highs, the so-so lows. The five-dollar shoes, blue-light special. The me escaping from everything I was and little clue of where I’d be going. You don’t see how broken apart love was for me, then. I didn’t wear fly it as large as it felt on the inside, no quiet to be had.
And me, there a new bride, all teeth in the smile, charging right to it, through it, no clue how to make love last. And you, too. Somehow we did, have, will.
The photos and photos, now stored online, in a file, with kids in my lap, in front of me, ready to bolt from the frame. Now they’re taller than me and really stepping out of view. You have no idea how you’ll miss them, from their first step, the nostalgia begins, and they leave, then leave, then leave. It’s what you need them to do, what they need to do. And there they go.
Catch me now, and I’m certain I look as sarcastic as I feel. As good as I need to. And also, as calm, as settled, as content, as comfortable. A little too. This is what I aimed for. Is that luck, a lottery, a lark? A little.