Yvonne Higgins Leach

My Roommate Quits College and Moves Back Home

Out the dorm window I stare at
the mouth of Buick’s trunk large
as the far-off hills of her home
awaiting her return now.

Her parents’ last trip up the elevator.
She stacks the hot plate amid hardbound books
I imagine in a year will embellish
a table at the neighborhood garage sale.

All night both of us awake in our corner beds.
She weeping like an injured bird.
I digging for a phrase to kill the darkness
but never finding one. Yet I come

to realize you can mourn a decision
you are still certain is right. Several of us
surround the car, hair wild from tousled
sleep, rumpled sweatshirts and pajama bottoms.

Her father’s black glasses and white shirt on a
Saturday morning stick him in decades past.
Her mother, round and twittering, treats us
like a supportive coalition.

Her daughter’s cause in the last box loaded
as the trunk slams shut. We hug,
whisper words of reunions, future outings
in each other’s ears, and when we let go

she disappears into the nest of the backseat
and because she lives in another city
I worry I won’t see her again—
and I never do.


Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of Another Autumn (WordTech Editions, 2014). Her poems have appeared in South Dakota Review, South Carolina Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Wisconsin Review, among others. She earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Washington University in 1986. She spent decades balancing a career in communications and public relations, raising a family, and pursuing her love of writing poetry. Now a full-time poet, she splits her time living in Snohomish and Spokane, Washington. For more information, visit www.yvonnehigginsleach.com.

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