Once a Daughter

This was written with my “foster” daughter in mind. Growing up and leaving. Its what we all do at one time or another. She has since married and has a family of her own, and we have moved away to another town.

Once a Daughter

I was once a resident here
coming and going freely,
I had my own key.

Feels strange to stand outside the door.
I want to turn the handle,
walk on in as if I still belonged.

I announce my presence with a
push of the doorbell; listen to its
unique chime welcoming me in—
the intro to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

When I enter the hall, the years fall
off with the removal of hat and coat.
I find it hard to be an adult.

Warm smiles, warm greetings:
a hug, a kiss, whisked back
to the kitchen, reminisce.

All different, changed on the outside:
new flooring, new wallpaper,
the cabinets refinished.

Unchanged memories: the first cake
baked, gelatin stuck to its mold,
the brownies black in the pan.

I perch on a barstool by the pass-through
and watch an older woman making tea.
Its here the most I miss being family.

Grown. Once a daughter here.
Visits. Respect. “Honor your father,
honor your mother…may prosper in the land.”
Funny it should be a command.

c.Darlene Moore Berg


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