A Trip Back Home

By Barb Germiat

A ghost scent of felled pine trees lingered when
he visited the town where he’d grown up,
Lumberton, so named for its industry.
He told the desk clerk at the Comfort Inn
he’d come back to visit his grandma’s house,
to see the cemetery where she rests.
He took pictures of his ancestors’ graves,
walked past playgrounds, felt long-ago laughter.
Returning to his room, he heard the phone.
“Hello?” A young man’s voice said, “Mr. Brown?
When did you live here, and where did you work?”
“In the seventies. At the lumberyard.”
“What kind of car did you drive?” “A pickup,
worn out old Chevy.” The fellow paused, said,
“Well, thank you sir. You’re not my father, then.”