~for Elaine


When did we come to this?

Winter always ends, snow


melts into rivulets, into mud.

The birds return, tentative


at first, then loud and bold.

Every spring, the leaves unfold,


daffodils fill the edges with yellow.

There is asparagus again, and peas,


and later blueberries. I was picking

blueberries while she was breathing


her last hard breaths. I knew

it was coming. It’s always coming,


but for callow years it’s nothing

to think about, nothing to fear.


Not untimely now. Not the first,

but nowhere near the last.

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