Forty hosta hastily transplanted last fall
to the sandy verge, the steep bank nuded
when the hollowed maple, lifetimes in
the making met its maker; these hosta
now have yellowed, furled, rolled limp,
a blight to con the eye, invite attention
to a lawn gone sepia. Blades of grass
now brittle sticks, wind’s rusty chant,
rasp, fiddlesticks and tendril threads,
tall clumps to say nobody lives here.
The rose bush dead, already petrified,
strong succulents all curled a shrivel-
withered brown. One lush anomaly:
Rose Campion Lamb’s Ear rooted
’round the female holly bush, bright
spiky leaves from silver soft surround,
pink valiant blossoms, bold and strong
to do the thing good lipstick does.
Hidden Primrose. Remembrance Rouge.
Abandon. There is a shade to christen
every life condition. Sunset Lavender.
Marauder. Jade. The bare, black cherry
tree whose limbs Spring draped for twenty
seasons in soft Pink Lady Promise, old,
shabby, surely wanting care. The same,
the lawn, the house, the lady who lives there.
And so, it seems it only takes one summer
without rain, a drift of weeks, the world
gone mean, to make a start then, offer age
assent. To give surprised consent, or to
at least – time bossy, brooking no dissent –
begin to know there is a change now
on its way. Not today. Not right away.
But coming. Closer, I can tell, and yes,
untimely, but foreshadowed now.
And so now by loss readied,
verdancy, the shading done,
time today to let light come.