(In honor of poet Gardner McFall, librettist of Amelia, premiering May 8, 2010)
She spells her name with one “e”
even though I imagine her with a gardener tool in hand;
the type used to excavate graves of various depths
for dead-looking bulbs promising resurrection
in some later season.
Within the fertile soil she plants
words of “loss,” “fear,” “abandonment”
in holes deep and dark, hoping that in doing so
she will forestall their eventual arrival.
In shallow crypts, closer to the surface
she tamps rich peat over words of “hope,” “love,” “resolution"
longing for their quick escape from casket
to coronation, overtaking the garden
as if they were sweet violet or choking vine.
And words that lie fallow are met with Spring’s rain
mingling in between what was risked and what was won,
carefully planned and planted, both deep and shallow
bloom now in bold revelry.