Kristine Barrett's "To Mother in Heaven" (1981)

The flowers you left for me
I found and pinned them to
my hair upon my wedding
day. And under a mountain
in Africa was found
the diamond you buried. Of
the gold of south America
was pressed the band I wear.

I think of you often.

I walk along the beach
and do not find your footprints.
But the shards of sun
you sowed, I follow towards
the veiled horizon.

I drove once through Wyoming
and saw how you had matched
the sage and mustard flowers
pretty little violet
wilds. It was lovely
.
Your letters haven't yet
beend found and bound.
Whenever
black seeds lie upon
white snow or flocks aflight
embroider dawn, I look
for your writing.

At pollinating time
last year, close by the honey-
suckle, I breathed the air
of your perfume and
wondered
if you had come perhaps
and I had missed you.

I try to remember what you
look like. Some nights
through my
reflection in our high window
I see the stars and think
I see strung diamonds plaited
in your hair. I think
if I could look into
the sun, I would see your
picture.

I want to know your name.
I know it is livelier than
Mary
or Sarah or Eve. Can you
please whisper it to me?
What is your name?


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