Peter Sears was born in New York, grew up in the East, graduated from Yale and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He won the 1999 Pergrine Smith Poetry Competition for his book of poems,The Brink. His first book-length collection, Tour,was published in 1987. He has published multiple chapbooks of poetry and two teaching books, Secret Writing and Gonna Bake Me a Rainbow Poem. His work has been published in many magazines and literary journals and widely anthologized. “Long After I Am Gone” appears in his most recent chapbook, Luge, and is published here with the author’s permission.
Some day my daughter will make a left turn,
long after I am gone, and think of me,
not because she sees something in particular;
no, and not because of an odd overlap like
a rowboat crossing the path of lake moonlight,
but because I just rise in her memory like toast;
yes, she and I in a laundromat, feeding tumbles
of quarters into the dryers’ silver mouths
to make all five dryers spin long enough
to get ornery blue jeans dry as crackers.
“Do you see yourself there in the laundromat?”
“Yes, dad, I’m running from dryer to dryer,
sticking in quarters kerplunk kerplunk,
but I guess I’ll go back to putting stickers
on my school notebook because this is taking
a lot longer, dad, than you said it would.”
This recalling what you said helps me now
against each day falling faster and faster away.