When she walks through the door
I can see the space that nine years has taken up.
It has stretched her arms, legs, hair,
she is taller than me now.
thinned her face,
but it is still the face I recognize.
My jaw drops as it tries to adapt
this new being
to the one memory has stored like
a well-worn blanket in a box.
We share the same first name,
I am unsure if this was intentional, accidental, or a compliment.
Nine years ago
her small body used my legs as a jungle gym
and climbed onto my lap to finish eating.
She used to tell me she loved me,
used to yell our name before lunging into my arms at full speed.
in her tall body that I faintly recognize,
she shifts weight from one foot to the other,
and tells me she doesn’t know who I am.
Lynne Schmidt is the winner of the 2020 New Women's Voices Contest and author of Dead Dog Poems, Gravity, and On Becoming a Role Model. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans. Twitter: @LynneSchmidt