Ava at 13

Maximilian Heinegg 

She lets her sister be served first, doesn’t hover
as I take down the candles. I’ll want to remember
this patience in the photograph, not you & me
worried out of the frame, probably marking
the party we put on. Tonight, before the dark
stifles any tears, I admit we have five years,
depending on interest. You talk saving for what
memories we can afford, but what did we ever want
from our parents except knowing they were
at our performances. You dread the possible
distance, promise to follow her, readying shawl
& yarn. I’ve got my guitar, George & Martha
to read them. Say the word, daughter, we’ll sell
the door’s gold-hinges, the garden’s good dirt.

Maximilian Heinegg’s poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, December Magazine, Free State Review, and The American Journal of Poetry, among others. Additionally, he is a singer-songwriter and recording artist whose records can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com. He lives and teaches English in the public schools of Medford, MA.

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