I could not predict the fullness
of the day. How it was enough
to stand alone without help
in the green yard at dawn.
How two geese would spin out
of the ochre sun opening my spine,
curling my head up to the sky
in an arc I took for granted.
And the lilac bush by the red
brick wall flooding the air
with its purple weight of beauty?
How it made my body swoon,
brought my arms to reach for it
without even thinking.
In class today a Dutch woman split
in two by a stroke—one branch
of her body a petrified silence—
walked leaning on her husband
to the treatment table while we
the unimpaired looked on with envy.
How he dignified her wobble,
beheld her deformation, untied her
shoe, removed the brace that stakes
her weaknesses. How he cradled
her down in his arms to the table
smoothing her hair as if they were
alone in their bed. I tell you—
his smile would have made you weep.
At twilight I visit my garden
where the peonies are about to burst.
Some days there will be more
flowers than the vase can hold.
Photography credit: Unknown (originally black and white, tinted).