My mother comes back
as the mock orange’s white blossoms with yellow anthers, their faint
that the scant breeze blows to me. It’s flowering for the first time.
I sink my hands
into the dirt, get closer to the tap root of the huge dying elm
which spreads its black limbs
over me against blue sky in such eloquent gestures of grief
that I remain
kneeling in the flowerbed, weeding, staring up. Wisteria waits
in a black plastic
gallon bucket to be planted. My dead mother loved
the color of wisteria.
The white label calls it “wisteria frutescens—
and says its vines will grow 20 to 30 feet. I’m building it
two treated 4x4 posts anchored in concrete, set 12 feet apart
and strung with horizontal
galvanized steel cable. I’ll train the wisteria’s wrought-iron vines
to climb and twine
through these staves, to become a sprawling G clef that will flower
into late spring’s
lavender notes, cross-pollinated by bees, its sound and scent carrying far
beyond our backyard.
On the harp strings of the trellis, it will blossom again and again into the one
illuminated letter of being.