Six a.m. and already bees
are at it like frenzied babies
at the breast, ravishing the powdered
nipples of the Matilija poppies.

She thinks of milky mornings
with one baby, another.
None with the one in between. The two:
frantic mouths, then eyes rolled back, elemental hour.
Warm bodies against hers, heavier by day, by week.
The one: lighter by year, weight of ash,
pollen heft, always there.

Memory’s hall, flooded now with early light,
is full and never filled. Through windows,
breezes come and go, sparrows. In the pouring
brightness, motes eddy and swirl, pollen
from the thistle of goodbye.

Listen to this poem:

Goodbye, Thistle, a poem by Catherine Abbey Hodges

Photo used under CC.