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Jamie Miller


Jamie Miller reading

Lake Lida

Great-grandma Cora
and her Pepto-pink cabin
Viola’s bathroom wallpapered
in fish and her sofa stinky
of wet swimsuits
Grandpa’s trailer—
pop-up table under tip-top bunk

An old oak tree holds
tire swing as waves
lap splintered white dock
Dusk bonfire embers
turn amber

Sally Ann cookies—
gingerbread and gelatin frosting
Burnt marshmallow s’mores. Homemade
vanilla ice cream glides down tongues
on the 4th of July. Pig roasts,
sweet penny candy,
and one orange Shasta a day

Waterskiing in bumblebee preservers
swimming with guppies
hating to wash my hair
in the lake
Bobber fishing, cousins tanning,
watching sunsets, and wishing
on a star

You Are Mine

Your stripe t-shirt
red white
red white
is the only hue of my slow-motion dream.
Your sticky fingers and cheeks
come from visitors’ candy.
I see you belong to no one
I wrap my arms around you, I whisper:
“You are mine!”

Toddling from person to person,
collecting casual pats on your nappy hair –
your only interaction.
You do not speak
but loneliness surrounds you
I take you in my arms, I say:
“You are mine!”

Your chubby face tells a story as
People come and go
yet you remain.
No one
No one
To call your own
I embrace you in my arms, I cry:
“You are mine!”