We hiked to the meadow to see children
take turns riding a dog sled before
the half-dressed trees.
I was out of breath.
A little boy stood in the melting snow
with his bottom lip stuck out.
You say everything is trying to become gold.
Instead, it becomes air and cloud.
It was the shortest day of the year.
Another sheet of snow slid
from the roof of the schoolhouse.
Even the squirrels jumped
at the clamor it made.
The sky was painted eternity blue.
Sometimes I think my parents just didn’t
plan anything and I remember,
when I was a kid, getting stuck
between two rungs of a kitchen chair.
There’s Cassiopeia, I said,
the big whatever in the sky.
The stale light of the universe brushed over us.
There are plenty of ways to lie, and we are planning
all of them on our forthcoming trip
to the Midwest in an old Chevy.
That’s where my parents fight
over a broken handsaw.
I await the day, respectfully yours.
Rebecca Lehmann is the author of Between the Crackups (Salt 2011), winner of the Crashaw Prize. Her poems have been published in journals including Ploughshares, Tin House, and The Iowa Review.