Content

Issue 14
Photos of Our New Hydrangeas

After I opened the attachments
and saw the three small shrubs
you planted yesterday, and immediately wrote back
to say how proud I am of your good hard work
and that I hope you remember to stretch today,
I wondered for a moment how lacecap hydrangeas
can snuggle into the autumn soil
without me to tell them how
to tuck their roots
and bow their heads
and sleep.
How can it be that one of us
has planted new life in our garden
without the other there to help?
In all things we have always grown together,
and so I could feel for a moment the three bushes
mulched in their new bed,
huddled along on the north foundation wall,
the quilt of grass faded by early freezes
neatly folded at their knees,
and a chill slithered up
from my feet beneath this desk
to my fingers on this keyboard,
and I feel the waiting for you,
this half-life separation
as slowed and quiet breathing,
dormant flesh and bone.