A faint trail of our molecules flickers in
every place we’ve ever been: stroll the alley
where your parents courted, rearrange the doily
Aunt Clara tatted, seek out your old street’s potsy
playground. The shudder, tagged someone stepping
on your grave, may not be your future but another’s
past particle of pain. Walking through life
backwards, locked on what was, we stumble
over the future as childhood’s poky minute-hand
whirligigs the grown-up years away. Harvest
the molecules. Plug in the old toaster. Inhale
the ions. Play a taped radio show: It’s Make
Believe Ballroom Time. Savor the scalloped
potatoes from mom’s polka dot chafing dish.
Let the past snap back through wavering time.
Meredith Trede is one of the founding publishers of Toadlily Press. Her chapbook, Out of the Book, was published in Desire Path, the inaugural volume of The Quartet Series. Her poems have been published by Blue Mesa Review, Gargoyle, Heliotrope, The Nebraska Review, The Paris Review, Runes, West Branch and others. Meredith lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York.