Question and Answer

When she left, / then returned, / a determined look / on her wet face, / he assumed she’d / come to retrieve / something forgotten

Black and white photo of Ricardo Sternberg on an orange background.

When she left,
then returned,
a determined look
on her wet face,
he assumed she’d
come to retrieve
something forgotten,
book or umbrella
purse or scarf,
but what she said
from the threshold
she would never
again cross was
that on further thought
(further meaning
what occurred
to her in, say,
the forty steps
that took her
from his door
to the bus stop)
she could now
flat-out answer
the question posed
when they said goodbye,
and then she did.

Ricardo Sternberg

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