Sitting among the tulips
He writes from my grandparents’ house,
His daughter brings her toddler by the front gate
To see the tulips, about one thousand,
Fully grown and ready to unfold.
He says the girl giggles at the sight of flowers,
Names colors, but won’t go into the garden
And he won’t hold her. He says no one will buy
This Easter, even funerals forego the flowers.
Death all around him is no punishment for sins:
Oh, no. God delivers him warm sunshine and flowers,
Budding trees, the sparrows that have so much talk to do
This season, flying from one coffin to the other.
I imagine him standing among tulips, taking note,
Birdsong louder than any he can recall; a glow
Of pink, red, and yellow petals touch his hands
With false reassurance that this too shall pass.
Holy Week, 2020