Return To My Old Neighborhood by Yvonne Leach

As I pass the willow-lined pond,
the wheels on my bike click over new cement cracks
from the toll of winter’s thaw.
How is it that not much has changed?
The arms of the same cedars droop over the same sidewalks.
Patches of drenched lawn sprout through snow,
and the two-story houses still sit clotted in time.
The early spring sun braids through the pine-dotted park.
I turn the familiar corner toward
my elementary school; the now-faint rain paints
a black scrawl across the playground. The old oak
we climbed, stark gray trunk blotched and bare like a ghost,
welcomes me to come sit again among her branches.
Whenever I return, I ask:
Is it a dying or a new breath?
A robin lands in a nearby vacant lot,
twitches its tail twice
and drops a seed.

Yvonne Leach
Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of a collection of poems called Another Autumn. Now a full-time poet, she splits her time between Vashon Island and Spokane, Washington. For more information, visit

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