Cheryl Slover-Linett

Dear Young Woman With The Press-On Eyelashes


It’s just the two of us, waiting

masked for the shuttle. I’m headed


to Albuquerque, home after a bittersweet

trip to my ailing aunt and her (much) younger


predator-caregiver, his girlfriend, son,

daughter-in-law, two grandkids, an unhoused friend


and a school of fish, all in her three-bedroom

ranch home between strawberry fields


and a golf course. You have no baggage,

not even a purse, just your phone above which


that inky fringe frames your indigo

oceans. Maybe your boyfriend awaits

with your carry-ons, or maybe you work

at Starbucks or Hudson News. You show no panic


at pandemic travel. During my visit he said

he wanted to rip out the bookshelves, install


a shark tank that’ll swallow the living room wall.

Have you ever had that happen? Lose someone


as she swam out of your arms? You look

barely beyond twenty but I bet you know


sorrow. Your Converse make me think you’d never

wreck the built-ins, but your lashes tell me


you'll be the one to leave.

 

Cheryl Slover-Linett (she/her) is a poet based in Santa Fe, NM. Her poetry is featured or forthcoming in Eunoia Review, River Mouth Review and Haiku Journal and she serves on the editorial team at High Desert Journal. In addition to writing, she leads wilderness retreats through Lead Feather, the nature non-profit she founded in 2008, and spends as much time as she can in the high desert mountains of northern New Mexico. Learn more about Cheryl’s work at www.leadfeather.org.