For Ellie


You say you caught yourself wondering if

the world would be

when you were gone.


Rumpled bed sheets rumpled bedsheets.

The sound of a small brass bell to ring for help

the sound of a small brass bell.


Hair comb in hand at the ready

to fix the damage from hands patting your head.


I wonder why

the vase of ranunculus and baby’s breath

sits on the kitchen counter.

You ask about images of a woman

floating behind me.


We spend the hour reciting small histories.


I ask about the light. What color.

Gold, you say,

pointing at the carpet of gingko leaves

falling throughout the day.

Grateful we don’t rake them up.


Joan M. White

Joan White lives in Vermont where she spends her time with plants and language. Her work has been published in American Journal of Poetry, Cider Press Review, Abstract Magazine, NPR’s On Being Blog, among others.

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