red circle

I circled the date on my calendar. I chuckled to myself, I was still keeping a 6th grade teacher red pen on my desk. September 25th. He’s fifty today. He’ll jog along the Outaouais, lost with some kind of morning prayer playing in his earbuds he will stop and stare out over the water. His hot breath will make steamy dances in the sunrise. Does he remember the sound of my name? How it rolled from his tongue like a poem of hope and heart break. How his french tongue broke it into so many syllables it seemed impossible. Does he remember standing on my stoop with tears in his eyes? Or is it so many lifetimes ago that it’s a memory that doesn’t get replayed. He couldn’t, he said. When the brilliant orange of fall appears outside my window and Bernard Thibadeau is all I can think of.