–after Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia
In the garden, all the apples
have returned to us, dangling
gold leaf shiny from the trees,
and under their bowers we walk,
our drowsy feet crushing the flowers,
carnations, pinks, violas, dahlias—
All of our dead have returned to us,
their faces wrinkled with the labor
of the former life, and their hands,
when we grasp them, all callus.
There the stooped shoulders
of Saint Augustine bend
to his mother, their heads
lowered in private forgiveness.
And Saint Peter Martyr and
Saint Dominic meet again, so close
that they grip each other’s elbows….
Some of us, as in life, arrive
alone, but none is alone where angels
embrace us. Here in the garden
these worn familiar faces
face us, softened with the release
of the end of crisis.
My grieving one, let us meet
past regret, where rabbits bumble
through the grass beneath our feet,
and that weariness we visit
upon each other will pass
under boughs genuflecting
with the weight of untasted fruit—