Maytime rain sprinkles purple peonies
through misty windowpanes
behind the antique desk, where
from a fading photograph
your smile enlightens dusk.
Last night, a child again
I clambered down carpeted stairs
to a dark-floored hallway of dreams,
sensing your unseen presence
past the old kitchen door—
past the warm yellow outline
of our old kitchen door,
where I knew I’d find you
there amidst the pots and pans
and a pungent stovetop sizzle:
redolent breakfast bacon, frying
eggs and goldening pancake batter.
What were you seeing in your own dreams
lying there in your hospice bed,
watching with open eyes
Baudelairean flowers blooming of death?
Could you hear my final words, feel my hand’s
caress? Was there nothing left to summon up
the forms of things unknown?