You left a season too soon. The flowers
announced my arrival, lifting their gorgeous heads
where candles spluttered on windowsills
and burned our goodbyes in the dark.
You drifted from bed to the bloodless moon,
I floated to mine from the sun.
Though little, my blue cry filled the room
the way sunlight does
as it goes about scattering shadows,
my first skin honeyed and new.
We might have passed on the way.
At last, cheeks fat in the cradle
of my mother’s arms,
they crowd like wading-birds—
relatives, standing over me
their smiles will be repeated
in crayoned faces years later—
the paper-white days of being raised
from the world I’ll crawl on my knees.
My mouth, a pink and crumpled rose
pearls with a bead of sweet milk.
They will tell me stories about you.
Laughing and pink, you will charge through fields
with mud-splattered shins
or on weekdays, heap armfuls
of sand and bricks.
Build a castle for me.
They will tell me about you in spring
where candles still melt in the lounge.
Thinking of you, I’ll go out in my dress;
crawl through your garden and find them—
petals unpeeling from grass.
Your hand will close my girlish fist
where I crouch in the flowers of May.
I will tug these daffodils free of the dirt
before summer takes them away.