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Your flower bends toward earth
while mine leans into the sky.
In a cloud distant as the moon
I see you smiling.

You brush a faded strand from your forehead.
The stem of my flower bends
and I feel the trace
of your fingertips behind my ear.

Your breath brings a pale shiver,
the rise of steam from a tea kettle
and we are together again.
The wind dangles the chimes
above our heads.  I hear a toddler’s laughter.

Your hair has grown back,
unmanageable and blonde once more.
Your chubby knees bang under the table; dried mud
has faded the blue of your sneakers.

The tea in your cup is cold.
I know now you will never drink it
as you turn to the fields behind our house.

I remove the flowers from the pot,
and set them on the table, side by side.
A catterpillar curls around your finger
as you lift it from a tree branch
and smile when you put it back.

Robin Dawn Hudechek