Guest Blog: Julie Peterson: twenty two

i was twenty two when last i saw you

taillights shrinking as you drove home to your wife

and family,

supper cooling on the table.

maybe no one waited

at the window hoping

you’d be home soon.


five thirty every night

the big green truck

ground to a stop and

father swung his lunchbox out,

his polka dotted hat

and dirt lined face

a welcome sight.


later, i wished for men

with worker’s hands to pat

my hair and fix my roof

accountants and historians

proved less than satisfactory



poets and glaziers are skilled

with angles and sharp edges

neither one forgives mistakes since

glass drops out when caulking shrinks

and clever words can’t mask the cracks.


it’s not equal

she said,

though i don’t remember why she even said that.

most likely, it had to do with the red taillights

a declarative,

class is dismissed.