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Given the rate of change, I deserve a rewind,

especially now in my eighth decade.

Turn life back, re-run it!

I haven’t got the plot down

and the characters are rebelling.

I’ve forgotten my friend’s faces

and can’t remember where I lived.

Clutching diaries written in Aramaic,

old boyfriends stalk my dreams.

The past drifts out behind me

catching everything at random:

dolphins, grandparents,

Chevy convertibles, pennies and pins,

landscapes that no longer exist 

on faded maps written before wars

no one wants to remember.

What were Sal Hepatica

and Musterole used for?

I should be able to prevent

stupid accidents:

uncut myself while slicing onions,

not slip on pond ice

and erase that bruise from my tailbone,

remove my greasy lipstick

from his letterman sweater.

I can pretend to smooth out my face,

go back to 1960 and buy

a 3-bedroom house for $16,000.

I should even be able to resurrect the dead.

I have lots of things to tell them,

things I was too busy

to say when they were alive.




Jeanine Stevens’ poetry books include: Limberlost and Inheritor (Future Cycle Press) and Sailing on Milkweed (Cherry Grove Collections). Gertrude Sitting: Portraits of Women, won the 2020 Heartland Review Chapbook Prize. Awards include The MacGuffin Poet Hunt, William Stafford Award, The Ekphrasis Prize. She is Professor Emerita at American River College.




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