at the end of the last street in town

the highway seems shorter now, ten years later -
then again, I did use to be shorter

I’m driving my car now past white picket fences and lit up homes
the way I used to drive my bicycle

I watch the ash trees on the side of the road, their green rustling leaves
as familiar as ever -
they’re the same as ever,
timeless friends of a lonely girl -
their trunk is only a bit wider,
that’s all

the park down the lane is gone now
there’s an apartment complex
being built on its spot -
a woman and her two rosy-cheeked boys
get in a white minivan,
maybe to go to a newer, far-off park

the house,
its chalky walls and bright red roof,
still stands by the sunflower field,
at the end of the last street in town

the tulips in the garden stil smell the same,
the hyacinths by the windows
still gleam beneath the lacey curtains,
the cherry tree bloomed for the first time

there’s apple pie and cranberry cake in the oven,
fresh roses in my favourite vase,
the only wilted flowers
are the old orchids in my room

the same familiar dark brown eyes,
the same warm arms
around my shoulders,
their grip is slightly tighter, more desperate now
and there’s a bit of grey
in the soft black hairs I knew

the cat still sits on the windowsill,
still perched stiffly in the amber dusk,
its green eyes slightly wiser,
its restless paws slightly slower

the toys are still in the attic,
the dusty boxes feel as cold as ever,
the dolls and books still grace my favourite shelves,
and as a mother, my heart blossoms at their sight

the house is where it always used to be,
the constellations still balanced on hazy clouds,
but I am slightly different

articol scris de Nereia Crișan

fotograf de Mihnea Lazăr