Come Again

by Christine Adams Beckett

A hand-painted piece of pine, perched atop
your double-hung sash, is a vintage sign
with shaded letters, “hello” on the opposite
side. An antique is something older,

one hundred years or more, yet a
generation? A mere thirty. I had a great uncle
who used the phrase as a request, cupping his
hand behind his ear, squinting both eyes,

he’d shout, “Come again, young lady…?”
which would make my sisters giggle and
cover their own mouths. We’d bark what
we had just said, louder, trying to keep

a straight face, as I do so today, overwhelmed
with contentment. We have returned to this place
we knew so well, finding it hard, still,
not to laugh, to ignore the innuendo,

the triple entendre of joy, of grabbing
a hold of what was lost, now, for good.