How It Happens


That’s how it happens, I suppose—

like the storybooks say,

Whether I want it to or not—

You, visiting a Synagogue in New York on

summer vacation, write me

a lengthy postcard description

of that

overly-spiritual open-minded child-oriented

dark curly-haired single business woman with a

New York accent and a breeding rich family,

sitting in the back row thinking, “My God, he’s it!”

and how you looked up and stopped praying

for your dream because it arrived one

blue Friday like a Tiffany’s box, delivered

in white ribbon laced around her waist,

trimmed just for your hands to come undone

While I’ll get the stamped, official part of you,

tattered sentimental,


New York is beautiful and perfect,”

shriveling in my hands because

we’ll both know you really meant to say

New York is New.”


--Heather Oldham