WIN N E R March. In the soft light of morning I see you by our front walk, by the curve of brick, pressing white alyssum, freesia and hyacinth into the earth. I hear a breeze whisper through the curtains, the song of finches dancing in the yard. Inside, the smell of baking bread begins to mask the scent of sawdust, clay and paint on an abandoned canvas. The destiny of any artist is to enchant the world
but in the dirt of our yard you are considering the lyric
of your life, its daily rhythm of sacrifice
of wishes deferred.
Here, there are no fields of asparagus flowering
through hazy afternoons beyond the western
boundary of a large white home, no fragrance of
gardenias growing in cool moss by the door,
only this garden and home, our home.
The heat of summer rustles through the wide leaves of a single
mulberry, its large branches worn smooth
by the hands of children climbing into its cool womb
where they dream
of lives beyond even their imaginings.
As the day drowns beneath the far horizon you
remember when your children were once here
exploding clods under their shoes
in this dirt-lot of dreams, this place
where you saw beyond the dirt and rock, and imagined
instead lives of light and color, of enchantment and the
laughter of family expanding by marriage and birth and
Soon, men will harvest
the fields of your history but this is your now, our
now, to which we return with husbands and wives
from distant places
and children brimming with the possibilities
of wishes you planted long ago.
You died before he was even born and yet
you are here
in the way his small hands
hold a brush, the gesture of his wrist,
your light shining in his eyes again like the
last light of a setting sun lingering on the tall
windows of a home on this hill that is forever
Would it surprise you that he sings to the
birds on warm summer mornings?
That he is partial to dogs, or that his hair is not black?
Perhaps the miracle of a wish
is not that it comes true but that
it was never big enough.
Homes —for my mother, my children and theirs