We were there to sand floors and scrub tiles, preparing the house for the new bride, your sister gleaning some kind of country harvest from the trick of a kind smile. I ran wild, beguiled by the pollen-thickened air, nasturian wildernesses climbing into tall rooms, the hot echo of sunlight.
In the garden a sundial told the weather,
and at night a boy waiting in shadow
led me beneath the limes
to the stream buried in forget-me-nots,
the muddy banks of drowning.
If you looked closely,
a face smiled from the shallows,
trembling with hope in the cold current,
the child unborn of the marriage never to happen.