A Poem for Danielle

A Poem for Danielle

By Caitie L. Young

it’s new years at 5 am and danielle is going out to smoke
a cigarette and stops at the front desk to apologize

about walking on the floor i’ve just mopped; i tell her
it’s fine, she says we always say that and she still feels guilty

danielle tells me her daughter is so smart but she gave up
everything to work at bath and body and they don’t even talk

anymore except three times this year; danielle holds the cigarette
unlit between her fingers and complains about wearing

a mask; i try not to judge her, she is the kind of person to see
the world in a snow-globe, all baby oil, and scraps of paper

pretty country scenes held in glass, and she is used to catching
snowflakes on her tongue, smiling, and she is kind and her face

is wrinkled by tomorrow’s and yesterday’s and her kid
not calling or coming over or going to college, and danielle

if you ever read this poem, i hope you get to ride that bicycle
and go to breweries in cleveland again, i hope i see you when

the snow clears, danielle, i hope this new year shows
you a normal that you are able to breathe in again.

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