Alexander’s Elegy by Laura Johnson

plump blueberries sifted through moist
fingers
as i searched for stems.

all your life i did this
a small discard pile on the side to
present you with a glistening bowl of
fruit.

being yours and your being mine meant
picking through the stems.
i was content.

it could not always be so. you
went and were glad. i managed a
smile to send your ship to sea for it was
christened so long ago and waited
in harbor.

the years you were moored:
lemony sweet,
sticky with the juices of baby
kisses.

the seed-pits we discarded well
you and i.

amid playful antics you tested your
rudder.
i sat behind you dutiful,
sewing sails.

a tarnished clock speeds time as the
instinctual weavers hang
dew laden cloth on the branch beyond
our kitchen glass.

we have always homed together. there
was no question of place: hands touch
just
after the shade of the day. no more.
but, i still know the sound of your breath
in the night
velvet and when the owl screeches
in hunt, i held you and peace returned.

you were mine one season and many
are left to you. you must
pick through your own berries sweet
hot mornings.

i must sew new threads, carve
paths and breathe.
each morning fresh blossoms –
i will remember and be content –
and you are to go far forward.