After I watched the Challenger blow up on live television in fourth grade I gave up my dream of being an astronaut. I still craved a life that would be solitary so I decided instead it was best to be a philosopher and write poetry from the back woods of Maine. This dream held me clear through high school.
I’ve never been to Maine, instead at nineteen I took up a lover expecting only a temporary exchange of time and place. Two decades later he still makes the coffee in the morning and breakfast. I left the idea of being solitary, and instead tethered myself to him. In the early years we talked of living without children and travel. Somehow that turned into two daughters, and three sons, each of them chosen and planned for.
I still crave the quiet which is near impossible with young sons, but I have come to see how temporary things are. We have lived several lifetimes, in several cities. We talk of the next decade when the children will be gone and what a small space the two of us could be happy in. After a long stint in the big sky country neither of us want to go to Maine and that’s okay. Any zip code works for wondering why and digging answers out of poetry.