I get stuck on Google
Maps, zooming into memories
etched unseen in the thin lines
and shaded boundaries.
I had forgotten about the creek
that crossed Olde Knoll Road—
did it traverse my friend’s
wooded backyard
when we were three
or four, singing “This Old Man”
in her finished basement
with her mom or playing
Candy Land at a low table?

Patch of blue reminds me
Washburn Park had, still has,
a lily pond with a crumbling,
now gone? stone pump house
filled with murky water,
the surface so dark, coated
in layers of pale pollen, it could
be bottomless, or not. I wonder
if the structure remains or if
it has disintegrated into rubble,
the stale water spilling into
the sun-dappled pool, where
I would crouch and search
out the gray-green bumps
of eyes, rounded head and sharp
lip of anxious frog, wait for it
to feel my presence
and propel itself upward,
through the surface,
back legs trailing akimbo
before disappearing to safety.

Ann E. Wallace writes of life with illness, motherhood, and other everyday realities. Her poetry collection Counting by Sevens is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing. Her work, recently published in journals such as Blood Sugar Poetry, Wordgathering, The Literary Nest, as well as Eunoia Review, can be found on her website. She lives in Jersey City, NJ, and is on Twitter @annwlace409.

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