You went away on the inside cusp of springtime,
just after the last,
hard frost surprised us and killed the young tomato plants
that I had already put into the heavy damp earth.
The morning that you left,
the snow line pushed clear down
into the foothills one final time
as if to say, “Fuck your human calendar, I’ll do what I please,”
and it rained, cold and hard
for two full days –
soaking my heart in the grayness
of your new absence.
You went away after scoffing any fond farewell
or tender sigh –
refusing even the smallest nod.
And you knew you were hurting me, as
you slammed your suitcase abruptly.
It was easier to study your plane ticket
than look into my eyes.
And now it’s been a month.
And summer is drawing herself
like a chalk game on the neighborhood sidewalk
and the only evidence that spring ever was, is
the way the buds,
that once held themselves in tight protection against the chill,
are eagerly open and hungry for heat
and I can go for hours without remembering you.
The Inside Cusp © by Martha Lee Phelps