Walking Back

by Dana Delibovi

Walking around
and around my
block tonight now
that the heat has
broken now
that the dusk is
my sister
             I imagine my old
way back from school
the gravel and weeds
of the worn paths and
how I walked then
in that pounding way
that made my mother scream
what is wrong with you?
how I hugged my
book bag and wondered
if I could ever change my
voice (modulate it
my mother said shut up
my father said)
and how I decided
don’t talk—step softly
little odd girl
little nuisance
who remembered too many
long numbers
weird little
hermit who spun
in the sewing room
             but then the memory passes
as night breathes and I walk
to my home built of
all the words I hid
in my pencil case.

::

Dana Delibovi is a poet, essayist, and translator. Her work has appeared in After the Art, Apple Valley Review, Bluestem, The Confluence, Ezra Translations, Linden Avenue, Moria, Noon, Presence, Riverside Quarterly, and other publications. Delibovi’s poems traveled the St. Louis Metro as part of the Poetry in Motion Series sponsored by the Poetry Society of America. She is a consulting editor for the e-zine, Witty Partition.

Art by Markus Spiske

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