H e a r t S o n s & H e a r t D a u g h t e r s of A l l e n G i n s b e r g
N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 : A r c h i v e s E d i t i o n
While she uproots blooming irises from the backyard
Where they grow for no one
And brings them to the flower bed next to the road,
Gusts of wind and sun blind her and make her feel lost.
She digs with her fingers to feel the reality of soil
Not as harsh as the pain of letting go
Or as otherworldly as the bird’s nest which
She knocks over with her shoulder.
But she looks for that softness and warmth
That will be a sort of home––after death.
The father wobbles in his sandals towards the flowers
Thinking of the image of his heart on the monitor––
A muscle the size of his fist flickering with the weight of light.
She plants a row of irises on the side of house and he smiles
At fragrant violet and white petals unfolding:
“In July we’ll have gladiolas and next year
Let’s get lots of colors, lots of colors.”
She tells him that the peonies and geraniums and roses and lilies
Grow so strongly it must be a good sign: he will get better, she says.
This is the hour when there is only time for
Delicate colors around the gray house, the locus trees in the yard
From which they take armfuls of blossoms and bring them in
And fill the rooms with white scent of blown spring.
[Originally published in NHS 2001, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs01/bugan.html.]