The fifteenth. Almost too early to be called morning.
A last wide-eyed breath, oxygen
lines not enough to pull life
down into lungs riddled with what is no longer lung,
There are no witnesses except the roses
beginning just to bud. He plants a miniature, pink,
in the side bed she had wrested from dust.
Her side of the bed lies cold, stretches
south. The phone rings again,
and again and again. He isn’t
told the day they put her in the ground.
Her carefully tended gardens bloom
once more, fade. The pink thrives
in caked mud through hottest summer,
slight scent of cloying memory.
September brings the burden of storms,
hurricanes. The side bed is awash,
and he is hundreds of miles away.
Wrapped in cold stone,
she can’t hear the wind as it cries.
First frost comes late, softly.
The twenty-fifth, Christmas morning,
a single blighted bud nearing
has risen shyly against the
white of Decembergrass, but
he doesn’t make it in time to see.