Chills rise and fall but it’s 90° out.

My skin is flat until I’m pinched by a reminder of of home.

Like an old expression on the face of a new friend,

a reference I’ve heard before,

or maybe just a name.


First day of college and I am finally eighteen.

My mom keeps blubbering,

“I can’t believe I’m giving you away on the day I got you.”

But I can’t believe this will be the only time she cries about it./But I can’t believe this is the only time she will cry about it.


Not that I’ve cried about it

although I may have teared up at a “Girls on the Run” ad

(I miss my sister).

And my fingers keep twitching,

first the middle then the ring,

like my father’s on the gearshift of the old Ford Explorer.

The ground shakes and I expect my brother

when I lift my head.

Suddenly frostbitten in Virginia heat,

everything I see is unfamiliar.

Christina McBride