I willed myself to love you—
Lawn Resistors! Champions of the Bees!
But you did not thrill me
like the other, fleeting flowers,
the early crocus, the pink-plumed cherry tree, the tulips filling up with light like silken lamps.
You were too usual, too simple in design,
the same yellow tuft or whitish ball
from March until November,
regular as Mondays.
Then came the spring when all the blooming world
transformed into a poison paradise.
When I dared to step outside,
masked and gloved,
every coral, orange-tinged, or yellow-and-red-streaked tulip,
every cherry vibrating against the blue,
every bluebell, head-bowed in the shade,
struck me like a gut-blow, and I choked
on all that I had missed,
on all the loss that beauty
could not salve.
smiled up from greens and gardens
nodding your yellow heads
like child-scribbled suns,
as if to tell me,
“We are here.
And we will still be here,
when the miasma lifts
and out is safe again.”
Then, I was comforted.
And my heart returned your love.