Instructions for managing in your absence (poem)

Susan Saybrook
Mar 11 · 1 min read

Pretend it’s a year ago.

I haven’t met you.

There is no you to miss.

Avoid the siren song of the Internet,

where you haven’t emailed me,

and I don’t want to know if you’re

on social media.

Muck around with gardening.

Play in the soil with your

inexperienced hands.

Do not give one thought

to planting depth,

tomato cages, or

fertilizer types.

Laugh at your own bumbling.

There is no audience.

Find that place in your memory,

that moment when sweet first

turns bitter,

and then watch reruns of that part,

relive that feeling in your stomach

like when your foot

misses the step.

Don’t let your memory snag

on the Before part,

the momentary look,

that caress.

Actually, forget Memory Lane.

Remembering is not your friend.

Pretend that it’s a year ago.

Yeah —

go with that.

Susan Saybrook

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Things you might find in this writer's catch-all drawer include: child's artwork, university ID, dog treat, half-written list, & poem on a napkin.