Say it—it was you standing there,
listening to the mute syllables of locusts,
the sudden silence of those leafless trees.
The vacant branches, the deafening
songless fear ever louder in your ears.
Even the nights, abandoned, owls and bats

gone elsewhere. When you strain to swallow,
longing fills your mouth like lost lyrics,
a figure shrouded in the distance,
fields of foreign grasses between.
Some evening, you’ll forget to remember
and hear monkshoods whisper vespers,

and later, the waking sigh of sky-faced lilies.
Then you’ll pull the sheet from your table
and set a spread for spring. A first offering,
a pitcher of well-drawn water and a vase
of mint sprigs you pick and eat, healing
humming in your body, unsealing your grief.