your face was like the orange potted mum
i bought & cradled home from the farmer's market.
buckled in the backseat like a fresh infant.
mine mine mine. i peered between your winks
& your bones. i wanted to follow 
every inch of your green.
yellow flower irises. all your necks.
i was its lover & i left the plant
out on the porch.  
the breeze rummaged in our october sadness. 
i knew you were unloving me
but kept tracing the season: corn husks 
& drunk apples & mums.
a pair of keys. a missing tooth.
dead leaves sticking to the backs
of our legs. i wanted nothing more
than a porch to decorate or a pumpkin 
to wear as a skull. the mums
made fists & knocked
on the screen door. the mums
laughed at innapropriate moments.
hurt your feelings & stole your tooth brush.
open palm, i would come outside
to stroke the plant like how
i used to caress your cheek.
i couldn't help but think of "mum"
& "mother." our mothers hovering
over us like skeletal trees. i sent you
a postcard from up the hall saying 
"we should take a walk." 
you were always the better seer,
could witness a bee disrobing
or the last leaf dropping 
from the yard maple. me, i distract myself.
i started conversations with different
flowers in the mum nest. i held your hand
& he ambled through a year or more.
took our shoes off & planted them
in the hardening winter soil.
alone, i pluck flowers from the bush
& pocket them. you pry bark
from a dead tree i cannot see. 
gone but my love pangs are perennial.
again & again. your knuckles
& the mums still sitting here
with their teeth clenched. ready to sob.
gone now too. just the black plastic pot
tipped over on its forehead.
your mother, my mother still
looming like a lost promise.
do you miss me this time of year?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.