The Return

Allan Kaplan

My feet were dragging past the blaze of red azaleas on the manicured lawns. I rested by the privet hedge in front of one of the ranch houses. The ball shape of the privet hedge, the blue textured bricks, began to look familiar. I peeked into the bay window; I saw my mother six months pregnant with me. She was angling the face of my miniature bric-a-brac polar bear just so to the grand fleet of sailboat simulacrums afloat on the curtains. My father walked in—younger than I am! He fell to his knees before me gathering flesh, afloat in the infinite dream of her belly fluid, to begin telling me just how life really is. Naturally, from where I stood I couldn’t hear, but his lips were readable: “Flesh and water is all, flesh and water is all!”

My hand shot up to cover my mouth. But ambling over to a gathering of daffodils, I let the sun enlighten the fading enamel of my smile. Ha, ha! I asked no one in particular if my two gold caps were like marigolds among the daisies. Then walking across the lawn, I pressed myself against the 80-year-old Live Oak to feel as if I were among the trunk’s venerable striations; I said to myself, “My roots are also here” in the shade of these branches so desperately reaching for the bay window.

About the Work

Allan Kaplan

Life passing, revising alone or watching late night movies with wife. Books: Paper Airplane (Harper & Row) Like One of Us (Untitled). Poems appeared in many journals of various persuasions over the years; i.e.  Poetry, Apalachee Quarterly, Paris Review, New American Review, Slant, Iowa Review, Quarterly Review of Literature, Washington Square Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Wind, Chiron Review, Folio, Gulf Stream, Widener Review, Nimrod.

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