Where once exuberance bloomed
Where once you wandered camera in hand to record
the rudbeckia shine in vast sweeps of gold.
I often meet your spirit now
slipping in and out of lilies
holding their jeweled throats to the sun.
You knew last fall was the last
You let it all go.
Days hazy with heat,
twilight early with loss,
nights of frost.
Grandchildren drew get-well cards like monuments to lets-pretend.
You absorbed their hope as medicine.
You wrapped us all in the unconditional.
Leaves rattle and breathe in the wind,
one by one they leave.
Next week another grandchild
this one not aware
you blessed her in utero.
I will greet her, my tears where no one can see.
I had to let you go.
Days are much the same, blue haze, cool nights.
I fill it all with the conditional.