So much bloom and naked dawn, stalk of yellow hair and slender arc of back,
your small figure a leaf, rain soaked and splendid, surrounded by bellflowers
and toadflax, thistle and jewelweed, touch-me-not yellow. You raise your hands,
turn on a heel, and shake into blossom. You ask me, “Do you know what Linus says?”
“When babies are born, they are so little and scared…they should be issued
a banjo.” Amulet of laughter, chain of coral and pearl, weave of wood sorrel,
don’t forget rosewater, don’t forget peppermint, don’t forget henna for the palms
of your hands. Little mother with cherry nipples, music of skipping, strange alchemy of my body,
what sleight of hand led me to you. Sorrow pure as fleabane, fallow ground for morning walks,
this is the place we go to see asters, multi-petaled head, disk and ray, magenta
and inexplicable leap into woman. How could I know blue tablecloths would spread open?
Had I only known my grief would be as abundant as clover, I would have looked on you
hour after hour, not lupines, not columbine, not looking away.