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Bonanza Road and 15th Street
After Geffrey Davis

In Las Vegas, in 1965, my mother beholds this man

mowing the grass next door, the one she’s already

turning into my father. His style is all pompadour

and peacock: hair pomaded high, tight trousers,

a wide-collared striped shirt and loafers

with low socks that show the whiteness

of his legs offset by the dizzying freckles

of his face. Outside the greening palms sway

in the Mojave sky as he stalls the motor,

makes his way over. Years will pass

before he returns from Edinburgh, a witch

predicting pneumonia — he barely

recovers, returns on the Queen Elizabeth 2

to the grit of his twenties. Three of five kids

will arrive before he meets President Reagan,

accompanies him in a limo from McCarran airport

on the night my baby sister arrives. The air stalls

as he approaches my mother’s yard,

each promotion and election and CEO position

miles away in the marrow. So much waits

in the wondrous wake of tomorrow.

And my mother, who will take twenty years

to bury her dream of becoming a school teacher,

waits a moment before walking over to him,

her aquiline nose, her perfect bob, smiling.

My mother will welcome all that happens,

both good and bad, in this moment, which suspends now,

arms open to calve and give him everything.

Terresa Wellborn has been published in various journals including BYU Studies and Dialogue, and several anthologies including Fire in the Pasture and Dove Song. Former associate poetry editor and submissions editor for Segullah, she is now on their poetry board. She has a BA degree in English Literature and MLIS degree in Library and Information Science. A quintessential bricoleur, she has worked at a public pool, a summer camp, a publishing company, an archive, and all manner of libraries from public to corporate to school. Her trademarks are red lipstick, running, and covert accordion playing. When not on a mountaintop, she prefers to dwell in possibility.

Triin Paja