The Second Sunday of May

If you were here today,
to celebrate Mother’s Day,
I would plant an herb garden for you.

Come summer, you could have
the bright taste of parsley in chilled tomato soup
and quirky lemon balm in your tea
– in winter, a leaf of sage
in your favorite butternut squash.

Year to year, some of the plants,
like basil and dill,
would need to be replaced –
but who doesn’t like an excuse
to buy a new Easter dress?

Heartier herbs go round and round.
You’d always find steadfast rosemary
right where we’d put her, while sweet mint,
that gadabout, would spring up
wherever space allowed

amidst spires of pencil holly,
among the showy iris, rubbing
leaves with the sociable butterfly bush.

And versatile lavender, cool and warm,
would be heavy enough to touch you,
its scent woven into the memory of air.

The Tablecloth

Dyed the hues of harvest
the rich cloth caught my hand
while we shopped the Rue de Cler.

Plum wine and violet,
oranges, burnt to umber,
for years we shared a feast of gifts.

Ripened yellow lemons
and green of lime and grass,
raw but truthful words.

Companions with bread
we would sit at the table
graced with this reminder –
once friends in Paris.

Tree Top

My bedding is soft,
the batting warm,
and I am snugged in tight
between Teddy Bear toting his snare drum
and Mrs. Claus offering a cookie.

We lay in the dark infinitum,
and I forget. Well.
I never really forget,
but I put the thought away until that day,
when suddenly we shift and sway.

I feel the sense of rising
and I know it’s beginning.
Honking noises – what I’ve been told is laughter –
alarm me. I hear scraping sounds, and then,
oh, the light pours in.

The comforting weight lifts off of me. I want to cry,
“Teddy, don’t go. Don’t leave me, Mrs. Claus.”
But I am mute with terror. Crumpled tissue,
my last shield, peels away,
and I look into the shining, gleeful eyes of my tormentor.

She lifts me, she peers at me, fluffs me, appears so caring,
then – up she steps, higher than a being should ever be.
She reaches even higher – HIGHER – past garish lights,
past my friends hanging in frozen silence,
and my heart plummets deeper than the depths of endurance.

But oh, to reach the tree top,
where she nestles me amongst sturdy branches.
I look through eyes of jet black bead
and become part of the glorious light.
Just so, it’s hard to be an angel
when you’re afraid of heights.