The Significance of Grass
Most winters, the yard
keeps its blueprint throughout the season,
the skeleton of the patio bricks buried and resurrected,
the splayed bones of sleeping azaleas balloon to giant cones and back.
Snow, too heavy for the wind, drifts in piles
behind the fence, where miniature glaciers recede and expand daily.
But last year was different. Snow fell in December
and stayed through February.
Winter didn’t notice my mother
or maybe it did, since the only
break I recall was the day of her service
and the black hole dug in the white snow,
the mats of artificial grass rolled out
in walkways from the road
to the canopy. A spray of roses,
foreign to the melting winterscape,
faded into the black and white and grey of the day.
By nightfall, snow took over again,
smothering archipelagos of dead grass,
we knew it was there,
waiting to be reborn.
We swear we saw it
on that one warm burial day
between the frosts and freezes
that no one else can remember.