It was not clean windows and spotless lintels
or a couch empty of dogs and crumbs,
not groceries whisked behind pantry doors before
I could line up all the bright labels
or a hedge trimmed to perfect with hand shears.
I didn’t care about dustless sills, leveled lampshades,
or twice-swept front steps.
One night, we watched Outer Limits and
The Twilight Zone back to back, and you baked
the dense cookie bars called Hello Dollies—
coconut, chocolate, graham crackers. Divine.
We ate them on the sofa while moths
battered the screened door, and summer air
smoothed the frown of the shabby front room.
After Rod Serling said goodnight, you turned off
the black-and-white RCA and we moved
to porch rockers and watched stars shimmer
over the ribbon of river across the road.
We talked about our simple day.
As we ate one last cookie, you said you wished
there was more time for this.