Traveling Back, After Years
Visit to My Aunt
The long day's drive
from low elevation to 6,000 feet
a film rewinding: lilacs
in bloom over fences, birch and maple
full-leaf, then retracted to lime green, daffodils
for the second time this spring.
Now bare trees make an old mosaic
of the sky, only the willow
misting with green.
But every season crests
with color in my memory: crocus purple
to late yellow mums, your clustered sweet william
and scattered sweet pea,
the crepe-paper red of poppies.
It's my child-body
that walks up your drive, the beds
prepared and waiting, a dark glisten
where your shovel turned soil,
the first fringe of double tulips
under bony lilac branches.
In the quiet and clean of your house,
plentiful light through sheer priscillas,
I am treated as though
you've prepared all year for this.
When I leave carrying sugared almonds
and dried fruit, I imagine
you sit for a while, small hands white
in your lap, then begin at once
to prepare for my return.