Dear One Absent This Long While

Dear One Absent This Long While

BY LISA OLSTEIN

It has been so wet stones glaze in moss; 

everything blooms coldly. 


I expect you. I thought one night it was you 

at the base of the drive, you at the foot of the stairs, 


you in a shiver of light, but each time 

leaves in wind revealed themselves, 


the retreating shadow of a fox, daybreak. 

We expect you, cat and I, bluebirds and I, the stove. 


In May we dreamed of wreaths burning on bonfires 

over which young men and women leapt. 


June efforts quietly. 

I’ve planted vegetables along each garden wall 


so even if spring continues to disappoint 

we can say at least the lettuce loved the rain. 


I have new gloves and a new hoe. 

I practice eulogies. He was a hawk 


with white feathered legs. She had the quiet ribs 

of a salamander crossing the old pony post road. 


Yours is the name the leaves chatter 

at the edge of the unrabbited woods.

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