We've made some far-off plans, time
markers for when we need to leave—
when our son moves out, when our dog's
body no longer holds her spirit, when the
stairs are hard for us to climb. But we look
out through the snow's light dust to see the
stubborn backyard that keeps us here.
On days like this she taunts us, ghosts emerge—
The redbud appears, planted with our sons,
pulled away by a storm. The rickety swing set,
fills with neighbors' kids. The withered
vegetable garden, now bountiful. The other
dogs rise from small shrubs rooted in their
honor. When the time comes, she won't make
it easy. Our hearts will likely side with her.
Nancy Lubarsky, retired school superintendent, has been published in Exit 13, Lips, Tiferet, Poetica, Stillwater Review and Paterson Literary Review, among others. Nancy received honorable mention from the Allen Ginsberg Poetry (2014, 2016). She is the author of two books: Tattoos (Finishing Line Press) and The Only Proof (Kelsay Press).