Her earlier visions of happiness were
Far different from the reality
Of that purgatory place she inhabits;
Less than what she dreamed it would be
In the infancy of her longed for independence.
Her personal trailer park of abandoned aspirations
Rusts alongside the books she never finished and
The toys that sucked the family budget dry.
All those years ago before she left in a frenzy
Of hope and luck and enthusiastic ‘goodbyes’ and ‘see you soons’
She never thanked them for those nights they waited,
Imagining her in twisted knots of wreckage,
Unable to return home in time for curfew.
But they did not expect it; were so relieved to see her
They forgot those childhood spats, her sibling envy,
Secure in the knowledge that the long awaited day
Of endings and beginnings
Had arrived without disaster.
Disconsolate after they have slipped away,
She contemplates her in-between existence.
Nothing is quite right here now without them.
Her career is just what she was planning
For all those years, but not what she expected
When her parents taught her all their recipes for success
But should have told her just one thing: that life would break her best.
Shelley Kahn is employed in federal service as a civil rights attorney. She lives most of the time in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., but her heart is pulled in the direction of the Delaware coast. One of her many passions in life has been to write poetry about everything she has observed in nature, in people and animals, and in her public life. She is currently a member of the Rehoboth Beach Writer’s Guild.