Moving Day

by Greg McBride

It was a moving day, the barnraising
commune of that time. Afterward, we all

milled about her new apartment, mugs and
stemware in hand, and talked of jobs and songs,

Sgt. Pepper’s Band. We were grad students,
some postwar, most prechildren. Her stuff

was boards, bricks, a platform bed, books and beanbags.
A smoking, single mother in motion and crisis.

Her little girl coiled on hands and knees,
a skyblueeyed threeyearold, her hair

feral tangles of silveredgold mugged
up at me, tugging hard at some part of me

I didn’t know I had. That part yielded
all of me, which dove to hands and knees,

where we scuttled and growled over the carpet,
she and I, among chair legs, argyles, penny loafers,

the languorous legs of comely young mothers.
Overhead, they smoked sangfroid, they sipped

of cool, they slid on early disco. It was all
easy give and take. I could’ve stood but didn’t.