The day before closing
on the sale of the house and land
the tall widower in his best shirt kneels
in the wildflower meadow, after rain,
eye level with his granddaughters.
He tells them straight and kindly
how she asked him to plant
this bright patch of coreopsis and aster
that she no longer sees from the window,
and he no longer has to give.
The widower pours for each
a portion of what of her remains,
my fingers finding in the dust
a blue marble bone of her inside body,
a relic I bless and let fall.
We move through the wet flowers
brushing sorrow’s pollen from our hands
as the children call to one another,
dancing with the swallowtails
in the meadow, after rain.
Marda Messick is a poet and accidental theologian living in Tallahassee, Florida on land that is the traditional territory of the Apalachee Nation. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Christian Century, Literary Mama, Vita Poetica, Delmarva Review and other publications. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.