by Emily Conrad
I’ve cheered for everyone but you.
The daffodils were, to me,
after a winter of darkness,
and the tulips,
pinkened clouds of sunset.
I plucked a leaf of lavender—
Look! It survived!—
and crushing it between forefinger and thumb,
I breathed air
fresh like mint, perfumed like lily,
oxygen to sustain a mountain climb.
And the peonies.
More than anything, those.
We buried so many last year,
dead stalks weeping across the dirt,
And now they resurrect,
spreading wings, collecting ants.
And still I wait for the blooms.
But you stood ignored outside my window
forming green grape clusters,
nourishing them until they blushed purple
Skeptical, I cut your pillars of flowers,
knowing you’d inevitably wilt,
you’d drop a collection of litter,
and were you even worth the trouble?
But you, the undaunted poet,
sit at my dining table and pen
in perfume and memory.
You write of my wedding and first home,
Of childhood nectar and riches I smell
but can’t name.
You say it doesn’t matter if I was watching or not.
Just look, you say. Look at us now.