“Written on the Due Date of a Son Never Born” by David Wohan

Echinacea, bee balm, aster. Trumpet vine
I watch your mother bend to prune, water
sluicing silver from the hose
— another morning
you will never see. Summer solstice: dragonflies flare
the unpetalled rose. 6 a.m.
& already
she’s breaking down, hose flung to the sidewalk
where it snakes & pulses in a steady
keening glitter, both hands to her face. That much
I can give you of these hours.
That much only.
Fist & blossom forged by salt, trellising
 your wounded helixes against our days,
 tell us how to live
for we are shades, facing
 caged the chastening sun. Our eyes
 are scorched & lidless. We cannot bear your light.

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