I’m old enough, now, to sit in the front seat.
It makes rolling down the window
and the spring wind whipping through
my hair an unfamiliar thrill.
Dad’s in the driver’s seat. It’s unusual
running errands with him but I
want to prove to him that I’m a good
companion—I’ll be helpful and I’ll
learn. My hand points out the window
and my finger extends, fighting the wind.
Sunlight kisses the tip of my finger,
my wrist, elbow, all the way up to my
shoulder. “What’s that?” I ask about
every bush, flower, tree that we pass.
It takes me all spring to remember
the name of the sunshine-leaved bush. “Forsythia,” he says again and again.
Forsythia, I tell myself. Forsythia, Forsythia.
It’s a rainy day in Logan and the campus bus
jolts and shudders as we turn the corner of the intersection.
Wind whips at the bus windows,
chasing raindrops every which way.
And then out of the draining gray—
bright yellow leaves.
Forsythia, Dad. Forsythia.