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Can We Keep it Light?

—for Rev. BJ Potter

This time of year in Alaska
the light begins to stretch to longer days.
You can’t fly to the island where I grew up, wild
with pines, it rained all the time. Everything
slick with green. There were bears -
I don’t think anything ever chased me.

“I don’t know,” that’s what we named our boat,
like Abbot and Costello, so when someone asked,
“What’s the name of your boat?” we could say,
“I don’t know.”
I don’t know

what I did for fun. I married a dreamer
so I had to be the practical one. I made the maps,
managed moves over oceans, drove my children
across the country by myself. I kept my hair
short and my glasses clean.
In Portland I made applesauce
with the apples from our McIntosh.
If we picked blueberries in Alaska
I made a cake with a hard sauce.

I was never fussy
with manners. I showed my children
what really mattered.
As long as they kept track of tithing and saving.
As long as they paid attention
to what was left.

I told them if they could reach it,
they could get it,
as long as they kept
one foot on the floor.

©2021 by Carolyne Meehan