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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