By Irena Ioannou
New mayor, new Christmas decoration and
I stumble upon some people I used to know.
I talk to the ones I recognize, how many years
and the rest. They all recall my first name;
I’m the one who got away. Some of my possible
versions, had I not left, are modeled on friends
attending catch up coffees. It could be me
marrying that classmate whose yellow booger
accompanied his right nostril, or the one
who eloped with her French teacher. Another
one started running all marathons in the area,
you literally leave your past behind you
with each step, she says and chuckles—this one
is a poet. They do the talking and the paying,
this is not your home any more, they point out.
A strange thought creeps in my mind: was I scared
off, or did they throw me out? They all look so happy.
Irena Ioannou writes from Crete, Greece where she lives with her husband and four children. She is a columnist for The Wild Word, and her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Amsterdam Quarterly, Mortar, MOON, The Wild Word, S/tick, Literary Mama, and Eyedrum Periodically. You can find her at: irenaioannou.com.