by Charissa Roberson

Inside, my forgetful memory knew you’d be
Up early, setting coffee on the stove,
Drawing berries to a basket from the
Laden bushes by the lake.
Now I pick them alone, and
The pancakes taste different.
You had a recipe I never thought to ask for.
We spend July sifting through old photos,
Notes, and scraps of half-finished quilts —
All those ends you never tied.
Your funeral felt surreal,
Like it happened to someone else;
What’s real now are the empty rooms
Where we painted over your daisy murals
And the boxes heaped
In a pickup outside.
This house is yours, but we sell it in August.
It’s when I see them hanging veils
Of baby-blue chiffon across your bedroom window,
I realize that I have no right to the front step
Where you used to wave,
That you’ve now no place to return even if you could.

Charissa Roberson is a recent graduate from Roanoke College, where she studied creative writing, French, and film. Her poetry and prose have appeared in several places in print and online, including the Elevation Review, Burnt Pine Magazine, Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories Vol. 6, and Manawaker Studio’s Flash Fiction Podcast. When not dwelling in imaginary worlds, she loves exploring the real one, making and watching films, learning languages, and playing tunes on her fiddle.