What Happens to Us

(I’ve been thinking about old friends, acquaintances. Last weekend I was thinking about my childhood babysitter. I had stayed in touch with her all these years until she went to a nursing home about 10 years ago. Finding her obit online last Sunday has bothered me all week—how I lost touch.)

What Happens to Us

Every now and then I think of someone
I knew long ago.

 My favorite childhood babysitter.

 Linda, a friend down the block I played with when I was 10.

 Mr. Grimm, who we said smelled like whisker juice,
owned the corner store, where we took our nickels
to buy orange Popsicles that dripped down our wrists in July.

I remember a woman from my first job at the bank in my hometown.

I think about Annie our mutual friend who introduced us.
And now, you and I have been married forty, plus four years.
I wonder, did she ever marry that live-in boyfriend?

I google names.

Linda died in a fiery car crash in Las Vegas when she was 19.

Old Man Grimm was old back then, so he’s probably gone by now.

I can’t find our “blind date” Annie, not even in her hometown with a maiden name.

I find the woman from my first job, on Facebook. We become virtual friends.
Her name is Ann.

I search my dear childhood babysitter Margaret, my mother’s friend.
Her obituary comes up. She was 98, died only last December.

(NOTE: afterthought, 1/9/19, Maybe this I could be a Haibun. if add a haiku, and make the lines single-spaced above like a prose poem.)

brown milkweed stalks
pods stand empty in the garden
seeds scattered to the sky