Spring comes, a late dream with a finite hope:
trilliums and mayapples,
bright tears in forest shadows. Sun
ripples and fields freshly furrowed;
ripe, black fields.
Bill comes down the road
(all tamped dirt, too damp yet for dust),
his fingers not dark and he smiles
with his George Armstrong Custer mustache,
courier bag beneath his arm. He smiles
a mouth full of forget-me-nots.
In these parts, churches are built on corners.
Sidewalks converge there,
and god and the tall bell tower on the sky,
and little sparrows at dusk.
The years, too, live there
like cracks in stained glass windows.
Bill sits in a stonewood pew
wearing his long striped trousers,
hat curling in his hands, brows
like moss white on his forehead.
He prays for summer.
Only pray for what you know you'll get,
Asparagus grows by a wall of aged stones
belly-round and stacked there too many seasons ago.
They once protected a woman's garden
still here, now overgrown.
She smelled of lavender in the summer,