by Stacey Vallas
When I first watched you start a fire
in a cabin by the coast we’d traveled to,
I was enchanted by your wordless craft,
how patiently you placed the kindling, then the logs
to ease the flame to rising fire.
I desired your way with things, your lips and hands.
I imagined all your joy contained and measured
in quiet movements husbanding what we had.
Again this November you plant the bulbs
on the hill of our small lawn steeping to the street,
not in beds or lines or margins of any kind
but throughout and borderless,
so unlike your mind it takes me by surprise
as it does all our neighbors when in spring
the flowers rise as in a meadow.
Wherever you plumbed the bulbs
they now appear announcing life, first the crocuses’ cream
and lilac curls, then the daffodils, gently waving,
and then, like your sweet heart, wordless, true,
returning, tulips red against green.