lenten journal: spokane



a family is eating
outside Spokane
the daughter is still
in her soccer uniform
the mother chats as she
passes the potatoes
the father is tired
and trying to engage
the dog is waiting for
someone to share

they will finish
their dinner
their conversations
their homework
they will turn on
the television
their phones will
ring several times
it will not be me

none of them knows
I live in Connecticut
or what I did today
they don’t know
I can cook or sing
that I’m writing
a poem about them
or that I’ve never
been to Spokane

they are finding
their dreams
building their lives
breaking their hearts
living out their days
without missing me
or knowing me
and they are not
the only ones

my phone has never
carried the message
“come to Spokane
we can’t live without you”
i could say the same
about any number of
dinner tables right here
in our little town
that thought carries
both relief and sadness
I’m not sure which one
is easier to live with.



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