It takes a long time, all those blossoms
had to bloom and die—first
the star-shaped forsythia swept under
by red and white azalea petals
scattered like confetti,
the morning after a big party
when no one remembers what
they’re celebrating.
Then the pink crab apple had to let go
its love notes, lately interred
with a white Bradford pear.
There were more who fell
than I can remember
embraced by age and the slow pull
of gravitation: cicada shells I kicked
out of my way and the brown wren
too small for this winter, brought down
by some marauding cat.
I repeated your name each day
until snow covered the lawn
with its white leopard’s breath,
and when it melted and spring came,
I knew you were gone.