He was a gardener,
patient, bird-like among beans and blossom.
She is a cook,
generous, broad-hipped among pickles and pies.
In a moment alone with me
she puts aside the paired needles, the bootie of blue wool,
(knit two, purl two, knit two together)
then folds in her hands a rose carved from wood,
“I miss him, you know.
Will and I fell in love
when I was fifteen and he was twenty-eight.
He made this for me, a rose to hold for a year while he waited.
He married me in June, the day I turned sixteen.
There’s never been anyone else, you know.
We made love all our lives
until three months before he died.
He was eighty-nine. Did well, didn’t he?
I talk to him still, you know,
sounds silly I s’pose,
tell him how he’d love my hellebores,
tell him about the children and grandchildren
and now our great grandchild on his way.
Talk to him all the time, I do.
Tell him to wait for me again.”
She strokes the wooden rose –
holding on, bringing him closer,
feeling his shaping love,