You come from that place where Queen Anne’s lace
and milk thistle grow thick on the creek bank
behind the house.
Black-eyed Susans, open to the sky,
sway strong and tall in the wind.
A dogwood blooms
in remembrance of friends gone.
And the dust gathers
heavy over that forgotten place.
My heart closed up like a daylily
And I, a late blooming rose,
far into an Indian summer.
You left; then I—
left and shook the dust not just from feet,
but hair, skin, bones.
It collected deep inside, though,
as you did.
We never said goodbye.
©stephanie pepper, 2019