Some places never change no matter how long you stay away—
like this village of green-shuttered houses, Colonial cemeteries,
shade-dark streets. Across from the funeral parlor is the coffee shop,
the same swarthy waitress in a voile apron who served me
thirty years ago, her crepe soles unsticking from spilled syrup.
I can look through the window of Klein’s and see myself
in the mirror where I tried on prom dresses. The seamstress
at the tailor’s wears a pincushion on her wrist like a corsage.
At the toy store, the wooden floor creaks, and no one ever buys
the dusty marionette. In my old neighborhood, the red and white sign
swings over the grocery—Since 1927. The man at the register
is gray and small, but he has a voice I recognize. He reaches
across the counter to take my hand and I let him,
because he calls me by my mother’s name. A mistake
I take away, hidden, like stolen penny-candies.
Most recently, Pat Daneman‘s poems have appeared in Moon City Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, Stone Canoe, and Comstock Review. In January 2016, she was the featured poet for the web magazine Escape Into Life. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. She is a freelance writer and editor in Lenexa, KS.