Rebecca Baggett: "Gone"




We didn’t realize we’d lost you, too, the summer 

you and your lover moved us without warning 

from our childhood home.  You kept doing 

the things mothers do, rolled our clean socks into balls, 

baked birthday cakes with their bitter candy letters, 

drove us in the new Chrysler he’d parked in the new driveway 

to the Methodist church where we didn’t know anyone,

to the new schools with classrooms full of strange faces

that turned to stare as we walked in.  


But you were gone, as if you’d abandoned us  

in an unfamiliar city, sailed away without a backward glance 

for the little girls gripping suitcases splashed with gaudy 

blue and purple flowers, crammed with bits of childhood 

we’d outgrown but now couldn’t give up, would drag 

through decades.  Matted bunnies from Easter baskets, 

shoeboxes full of bone china puppies, cloth bags bulging 

with unremarkable shells – triggers of memory, 

mementoes we clutched as you vanished into that new life 

that was not ours, that would never be ours.


Rebecca Baggett is the author of four chapbooks, most recently God Puts on the Body of a Deer (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Thalassa (Finishing Line Press, 2011). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, with recent poetry in Atlanta Review, New Letters, Harpur Palate, Miramar, and Southern Poetry Review.