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Lynne VitiJanuary 03, 2023

Canada geese, lawn soilers, suburbia disruptors
squawk their way over the neighborhood
under gray clouds.

My heart is bruised—not literally. Obviously, a metaphor.
In my email, a notice from my old school—
another classmate has died. In her senior year photo
every hair’s in place, a bouffant helmet,
the photographer
must’ve instructed her
to tilt her head to the left—

Soon the number of us dead
will be greater than the survivors
of that postwar baby boom.
(A thought to mark this gray morning.)

As a child, I did the math: by 2000, I reckoned
I’d be an old woman. But Y2K was my midlife point,
twenty years ago, with so much living yet to come.
Now the glass is looking emptier.

The geese form a honking V in the sky,
fly westward over the group home for disabled adults,
over Temple Beth David and the preschool
toward the town pond.

Rest well, Linda, of the teased, peroxided hair,
the ready smile—rest easy, Mary of the sarcastic wit
and the always-lit cigarette, rest in peace, Jean
with heart broken by the faithless Cuban lover,
rest, Anna of the sturdy Czech legs, the acne-pitted skin.

If after death you’ve all been born again
as we were taught in religion class
why shouldn’t it be as exuberant black-necked birds
marking off the miles together, flying in formation
on your way to that new life?

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