Artwork by Amanda Chisholm
Tracing each one until it takes shape,
a poem about the last time I saw you, the way
the light on your head stayed with me
for years how it was luminous and stayed with me.
And the pale pink roses on the kitchen counter,
how they began as a handful of buds and then opened
petal by petal into intricate, blooming flowers,
I wonder if the spirit can be spared by this? Events
so powerful they stay beyond reason or memory.
And can trials be undone this way? Rue Undone?
I escape without an answer to this question
as if securing the forms is enough.
What does matter, and I am sure of it, are the first
of the giant sunflowers to take off and the beds
of calendula. All the colors of yellow, light,
dirt, seeds dried as little twigs at first, they break open
take to the light and air and water as if it is
meant to be, what needs protecting by us for those
who will follow and then too, you can eat the seeds
for protein, replant them. The point is they multiply,
a form, a genome, lost love, imprints on the dirt,
or on paper, the answer to another question
and even if I cannot carry them with me to prevent
every trial or misgiving, I know what must be done,
save the buds from the roses before they are gone,
teach how to plant more yellows, keep to the light