We walk my garden together.
The rounds of aggregate form a path
that fit my step, stumble up his.
He is a baby really, on a mission,
missing his mommy.
I carry sharp shears.
He knows our child’s play
makes a bouquet for her, the missing one.
Flowers are yellow, he says,
or maybe yellows are flowers
in his preverbalness.
He knows what he wants:
Two jaded roses, petals curled,
smelling of spots.
(I smile. Some day down a different road
may he find a perfect rose.)
One bird-plucked yellow sunflower,
one stinky rusty-green centered
shasta daisy, missing petals.
A crocosmia, yes, yellow, we agree.
One tiny johnny jump-up
he might have missed,
but didnʼt. A faded rush.
Then enough is enough.
I write a note.
He understands every word.
He knows what we ask him to know–
she will come back
loving what he picked.
Smell the baby, then the flowers.