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.