Green Hill

Ma, there’s a two-foot stack of novels
on the nightstand I scavenged
from Dad’s workshop.
Autumn turns more quickly here.
But timber abounds, the bracken is thick,
and my coat’s lined with fleece.

I’ve made sure to buy fruit
only as it comes in season.
I’ve enough cash this week
for a drink with friends.

I eat dinner more quickly
than ever. This table is too big,
silence too hollow. Most days,
I leave the TV on.

The coast has a thousand wild corners,
hidden behind neighborhoods, only yards
from azalea and clapboard. I like to pretend
I’m the first to clap eyes on them.

Ma, I heard a woman laugh
in the lee of Green Hill last Sunday.
I half-turned, half-expected
to see you, ankle-deep in sand,
teeth white in the twilight, as solid
and alive as ever.