Poetry: The Helen Poems

Tuition Costs
–Victor Depta
From The Helen Poems

I’d raised a child, practically
as if the end were something I’d thought about
prepared for, worked toward
when, in fact, I was amazed how little time was left
what with the ACT, SAT, the mailbox cluttered with
     college ads

loan forms, tuition costs, room and board
as if I were packaging her, fully insured
for Berkeley, Davis, somewhere deliverable to
and tampered with, probably
opened like a certified intelligence.

I’d raised a child
as if a million million hadn’t done the same
yet it was fresh to me, fragrant as irises
as the climbing rose on the back porch
where I kept busy to distract myself

sawing fretwork, attaching it to the posts
and painting everything white, white as the roses
wonderfully unreal, a dream-labor
old fashioned as the moon in May, delicate
as she readied to go away.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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