Every other breath could be a reminder
of where he was that day when
much that was wild and miraculous– like raindrops
illuminating the backs of her strong hands–
came to an end.
The finality held no sound;
his breathing paused as
she measured her steps through the grass–
as if afraid she could lose her balance–
and so it was she departed, soon a ghost of love.
He returned to the garden, watered flowers,
kept all pestilence at bay;
watched bees circle and taste offerings, flit away.
He called her after time carried him forward.
She answered, said
your voice still sounds like honey,
and laughed away sadness.
It was those words, her laugh that he recalled as he
sliced flower stems, separating very few
from the group, embracing them with a loose grip
until he found a vase for a home.
And the bees followed, sunshine blessed and waned.
But he did not bring in bouquets, anymore,
those colors and fragrance a triumph.
Such a gift he could not accept–
so left them to the quiet of evening,
forgetfulness of night,
until another tending of his garden,
more gathering of any love left there.