Why keep the high school ring?
Why fly 1735 miles to visit a place I hate?
Why drive by the houses—
Pineview and Constance Court?
Why all the poverty?
Why drive by Mort Jacobs Park or
the schools—Buder, Hoech, but not
Why buy the ticket, the $50 buffet?
Why tolerate the noise, the heat, the intolerance?
Why when you insist you don’t recall—
would someone insist you know them?
Why rekindle the hurt?
Why sit at the table full of already friends?
Why try and talk to semi-total strangers?
Why after 40 years don’t things change?
Why was it so damned good to see some people?
Why wasn’t there enough time to hear all their stories?
My great-nephew asks me why in the world did I
come back? He asks do I have a job? Have I been to
Paris? Could he come live with me next summer?
Did I really like math?
I say I came to talk. Friendships wrought
and lost, heart, loyalty. Forgiveness? Love and bad
parents. Life-lines and ways out. I say
I came back for you.