I told Mr. Shannon in eighth grade,
I was going to major in English
and would never use algebra after this.
But once again I’m at my poetry desk,
another word problem, solving for the unknown.
I notice a ceiling spider watching me.
I make tea in the cherry-blossom pot.
I nap lightly in the sun-heated chair.
I dream clouds or wake to them.
Tea now as warm as this day.
Vase of Dahlias, 1883, Claude Monet
I cut dahlias to fill the vase
so that they would greet you today
when you returned from the doctor’s office –
but you didn’t notice them until now.
You said they looked sad and wilted.
The couple at the table beside us
are, no doubt, on a first date.
He’s talking about travel plans – a beach –
she’s quite casually looking at her watch.
More coffee? No, thank you. I’m good.
It’s scents that linger in the air,
or a trail left in the water.
An impression left in space after something
or someone has been there and leaves –
the trace of her. Perfume. Heat. Light.