That Time You Came to Visit

(What I Wish I’d Said)*

That time you came to visit and

we walked the streets of Boston

holding hands,

me in my new

drop-waist denim blue dress

(one of the few

pieces of clothing I pine for

still).

At Newbury Street,

we meandered in and out of all my

favorite shops

me, so happy to share my

stomping grounds,

you, with more money because you’d

gotten a

Broadway show.

The author’s sons more than two decades later, on Newbury Street in Boston. photo credit: my own

I can’t recall now the name of the

store with the bracelet,

you know the one,

that big bejeweled bangle we bought for

mom,

its faux ruby stones glistening

from a sea of

pastel ones

like pomegranate seeds.

The author with her sister, circa late 1980s? Photo credit: my own

On the walk home,

we held hands again,

best friends,

chatting and swinging arms

as we traversed the

cobblestones back to

Kenmore Square and my

apartment,

my young ass swishing above

the single flounced ruffle of

that

dress.

As we passed the brownstones of

Clarendon toward Berkeley,

a group of kids behind us yelled out,

“Lesbians!”

and let out a raucous

roar.

I felt you stiffen and try to

drop my

hand,

but I squeezed tighter,

swung our arms harder, as I

turned and said,

“She’s my sister,

morons,”

and laughed

back.

In all the years since, nothing has changed about

that statement

not even when,

a few years later,

as we traversed the streets of the

village

in New York City,

hand in hand again,

you shared you are

gay

(though, to this day, I wish

I’d said

“Yeah, we are,

deal with it,”

instead).

The author, seesawing with her sister, 1995. Photo credit: my own.

** inspired this morning by “Dear Gaybashers” by Jill McDonough

Just another writer trying to stay afloat in a sea of words. Author of several novels. Wannabe mermaid. Mother. Trying to age gracefully with no grace in sight.

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