What I Miss

There is a chrysalis
and then a butterfly,
but somehow I miss them both.

I don’t see
the wisteria blooming
outside my bedroom window
because I don’t open the shade.

My son, our second, tries to catch a fly ball,
but I blink—
it’s already in his glove.

I remember the Mylar balloon
my husband bought
for my birthday
the week after my father died,
an oversized cake with arms, legs,
and a lemon slice smile.

That was the summer
I stood in our yard
watering the dead grass,
humming birds buzzing through the spray.
I watched the smiling balloon drift out
our open back door
and float up into the sky.

The people I love
float away like that—
out of my reach,
their smiles fading,
growing smaller and smaller
with time.

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