What I Now Know
by Alan Berecka

What did I know, what did I know…
Those Winter Sundays, Robert Hayden

We sat for a moment on a the metal bench
just this side of security. Her final Christmas
break over, my daughter held on to her photo i.d.
and boarding pass with a diamond adorned hand.

We made small talk when the notion
swept over me like a black wave—she
would not return to be home ever again.
All my past disappointments revisited me.
They poked at bruises and scars as we stood
to hug. The embrace returned me to the side
of my mother’s cancer ward bed. My spring
break over, I stood to return to my school life,
my wife and our infant daughter. My mother
reached up and draped her arms around my neck.
She pulled me down toward her with more strength
than I thought she had left. I echoed her affection
and returned her kiss. I regained my balance

in time to watch my daughter merge
into the line of departing passengers.

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