“For Annamarie, on the Death of Her Husband” by Linda Ferguson

“So we grow together
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition…”
—William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This is for you,
who once took me in
your wide child’s arms,
strawberry wool,
and tea in china cups,
spools of honey,
your little sisters
tumbling
like golden apples
over your bed,
the snowdrops
of your fingertips
on piano keys,
finding silver yearning
of Für Elise, dreams
unfurling from our pillows
like the peach ribbons
of a surprise party
or midsummer picnics
and the plummy pageantry
of Shakespeare’s rhymes
in the rose garden where
we romped and caught
our sleeves on the thorns
of adolescent naïveté.

Now, across a continent,
as your heart gasps
in grief’s cold tunnel
and clusters of friends
offer you tender
apricots of prayer,
may my voice be
a single petal
floating over miles of time
to land like a fingerprint
of sun on your hair,
for my words spring
from a heart that’s one half
of a double cherry
that still grows,
as ever,
next to yours.

 

 

Linda Ferguson is an award-winning, Pushcart-nominated writer of poetry, essays, and fiction. Her poetry chapbook, Baila Conmigo, was published by Dancing Girl Press. As a writing teacher, she has a passion for helping students find their voice and explore new territory.

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