Snowdrops

There are snowdrops growing on the hill beneath your house.

I don’t think they’ve grown there before

or I would have seen them.

Felt their green stems bend beneath my back

as we tumbled one over the other

down the slopes free from winter covers at last,

bathed in the chill of spring days

which looked warmer than they were

when the curtains first peeled back those mornings

and our breath misted on the window panes.

 

You would have plucked them singularly

with the same precision you gave to cakes

on birthday celebrations,

determined everyone should receive the same.

My hands always tremble,

when asked to thread the eye of a needle

but yours would have slipped each stem

between the brambles of my hair

to build a crown of tiny buds,

pockets of white inside the calamity

that I would soon shake free.

 

When they ask me why I left

the roof of my mouth becomes fly paper.

The words stick and clot

until my jaw aches from the press

of things I don’t know how to say.

I’m sorry is somewhere among them,

and so are the excuses

that turn over each night beside me,

convinced they can make me believe

that they were something more

than simply fear.

 

 

 

 

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