Lavender (for Gabi) by Beth E. Janzen

Oh darling
you are always lavender
the white and the purple
the open beaded blooms

I come to your home and you are watering the lavender
It grows in a row, along your picket fence
The sun is shining—my bright friend—
and you are the most beautiful one

Once we bought geraniums
and I was astonished
you stuck yours in your window box at once
no fuss—the practical thing with grace—then inside for a glass of wine
while I always gardened with a text
a master plan, building something for centuries to come
not potting blooms for one warm summer

Your body lasted only one warm summer

But I see you now with a book
you turn you head, perceive my tears
pause in your reading and look down your glasses
as you so often did, with a mock frown

Go on with it you say
There is only one
Water the lavender

- Beth E. Janzen is the author of Night Vanishes (Saturday Morning Chapbooks, 2004) and The Enchanted House (Acorn, 2006). She is currently revising two manuscripts: How It Is (fiction) and Research on my Twin (poetry). She lives in Charlottetown.

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