Thursday, 3 December 2020

one lone panda
to Brigitta, freshman year of college, 1985

by Julia Fricke Robinson

one lone panda stands guard
over an almost spotless room
we can tell you won’t be back for a while
even the cats have deserted their post
at the foot of the bed

so many changes
lie ahead of you, decisions
I can’t interfere with, relationships
I have no privilege to share
it pains me, as this empty room reminds me

only hours ago I smoothed a head full of curls
read bedtime stories
of girls growing up to be doctors
boys who wanted to be ballet dancers
even then you were on a threshold

now you dream of your own child to rock
can you begin to understand
that solution is only temporary, and you too
at forty, will find yourself pausing at the door
of an almost spotless room

making small talk
with one lone panda standing guard

* * * * *

"One Lone Panda" is from Julia Fricke Robinson's memoir All I Know (2020).

Julia Fricke Robinson divides her time between visiting children and grandchildren in Colorado, Indiana and New York and living, dancing and writing in a community of artists, writers, performers, activists and otherwise interesting people in beautiful Silver City, New Mexico, where the weather is just about perfect.