We were in a room that was once an attic,
the tops of the trees filled the windows, a breeze
crossed the table where we sat
and Amiel, about age four, came to visit
with her father, my friend,
and it was spring, I think, and I remember
being happy--her mother was there too,
and my wife, and a few other friends.
It was spring, late spring, because the trees
were full but still that slightly lighter
green; the windows were open,
some of them, and I’ll say it
out loud: I was happy, sober, at the time childless
myself, and it was one
of those moments: just like that, Amiel
climbed on my lap and put her head back against my
I put one hand on her knees
and my other hand on top of that hand.
That was all, that was it.
Amiel’s leg was cool, faintly rubbery.
We were there--I wish I knew the exact
date, time--and that
was all, that was it.
From “Split Horizon” by Thomas Lux. (Houghton Mifflin: $18.95; 81 pp.) 1994 Reprinted by permission.