Across sunlit dining room table,
her name spilled out of his mouth
like crystal granules of time:
Sugar, a lump of memory.
His face, wrinkled, skin folded
over jowls, a scowl, just like her
and yet his and her eyes black as night twinkled
as he reached deep into his childhood pockets,
unwound yesteryear’s yo-yo, a boy’s game.
Her dog tongue panted in summer’s oven,
her legs too short, low waddle down a path
and he recalled how ugly, how sweet
in red wagon, this bulldog pet, princess styled
too lazy to lift a paw.
A tale wagged, retold again during a man’s lame game,
His favourite word Sugar stoic on five wooden tiles.
His biting remarks, a bone for his dog-loving friends
all wheel-chaired, pit-bull leashed in retirement home.
Copyright © Debbie Okun Hill. Originally published in Executive Sweet: A Collection of Poetry by TOPS Executives (Beret Days Press, 2007).
Debbie Okun Hill has been writing for over 35 years with a focus on poetry since 2003 and on blogging since 2014. She has one poetry trade book with Black Moss Press and her award-winning work appears in four chapbooks; her individual poems have been published in Canada, the United States, and Israel. She is the former president of The Ontario Poetry Society, a member of the League of Canadian Poets and The Writers Union of Canada, and is a former co-host of Sarnia’s Spoken Word open mic event. Follow the poet on her blog Kites Without Strings and on twitter @OkunHill.