The Afterimage

On spring mornings,
I carry my mug of Earl Grey to the porch,
settle myself in the splintering chair,
hear the rattle and roar of the school bus,
don’t move.
Resurrect my children’s morning natter
in the playful chirrup of the birds.
Decipher snapshots of their smiles
in the afterimage of the sun.
Lean back
and rock.
Rock over the lost days
of waving them off, their earnest smiles
fading in the windowpane,
buckling my prayers in the seat
beside them; rock over
the late night talks that layered me soft
as they buttressed them.
Rock over the rushing home to fill my lap.

The air is still today,
and the grass is greening
toward spring with the cooling of my tea.
I walk inside to feed the dog.

-Julianne Palumbo

Julianne Palumbo’s poems, short stories, and essays have been published in numerous literary journals. She is the author of Into Your Light (Flutter Press, 2013) and Announcing the Thaw (Finishing Line Press, 2014), poetry chapbooks about raising teenagers. She is the founder of Mothers Always Write, an online literary magazine about motherhood, which can be found here: