A poem for the past year.
I came back to you in the summertime, and you greeted me with soft sunsets over wide fields. When I think about that summer all I remember are the sunsets—and a park, and the wide green grass rushing up against the flat horizon.
The park and the lake and the sailboats, the playground and the sand and the mosquitos, the high fence and a frisbee and blueberry ice cream.
The sun was always setting.
I felt like a girl with a crush as I gazed out the car window at everything that was so wide. The parking lots, especially, nearly bowled me over because they felt so much like home in the long shadows of the golden hour.
Oh I miss the summer.
Minnesota, your roads that stretch into the gray-green middle distance of nowhere until they are somewhere else altogether, somewhere that the sun rises a little earlier, brought someone to me on the last day of summer, and the leaves blushed hard and then died slowly. The geese were already winging away as summer ended, dark v’s against the sky, so maybe I always knew. The crushed leaves disintegrated. I was left to descend into winter alone.
Minnesota, you are the familiar highways. Too familiar, sometimes, and I cry as I drive them. I know the suburbs in every direction now. I know the vast backyards and rusted swing sets of out-of-town.
And you are dear, dear, artistic, cozy, potholed Minneapolis. You are every theater seat on Hennepin Avenue; you are the narrow tracks beside the falls and the silver curve of the stadium high against the sky. You are the sleepy-eyed 2am and the worn chairs and the newspaper racks in the entryway, and you are the tall, bright windows that cast streams of light into the street swallowed up by the dark.