What I hide from myself
I have begun to know.
Like an umbrella
left behind in the rain.
A blossoming azalea
bends its new December flower
against the basement window.
It grows inappropriately pink,
suicidal in unseasonable heat.
Off-kilter, in my father’s house,
the present is not my own.
His idle lawnmower
smells of oil and gas,
his red tool chest still locked.
I stand in this window, thinking
of this false spring’s hushed tones,
“Don’t believe it. Oh, go back. Wait, wait,”
and the wind moves
through the blossoming trees, whispering
to the leaves to be still, quiet,
in words like dreaming and sleep.
Sound of rain accumulates
and the gutters overflow,
water drips past me,
the confused sounds of a world
crying out like croaking frogs.
Pine, oak, ironwood, birch, apple trees
and the ground still wet,
dusky ochre brown.
Last year, it was a clean winter kill,
dead red leaves lining the ground.
It is time for me to go.