Blossom Road

I don’t know why I pulled over, idling, right before Christmas, two months of snow and


plowed onto the shoulder, each squat rambler aglow, a life-size baby Jesus reborn in the

DiPasquale’s front yard,

why everything looked different, the way the woods you got lost in as a kid seem small

and disappointing when you return to them older,

because I hadn’t been out of there that long, less than a year, and as far as I could tell in

the December blur,

beyond the slight expansion of the motherhouse infirmary, where the sick nuns, most of

them retired teachers,

convalesced or passed, where I’d volunteered during study hall changing bed pans and

pouring Hawaiian Punch into paper cups,

they hadn’t renovated the spired building I’d entered day after day, my plaid jumper

becoming more ironic with each curve.

How selfish it is after you leave a place to doubt that it could function without you.

That it all goes on was enough to make me crack, facing the grotto

I’d stood around with my class, a hundred of us, in Easter white in another season,

singing as the May queen and her court offered flowers to the stone Virgin or just

pretending to sing.


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