We were lost in the yellow of spring
when the bombs went off. All over
our backyard, irises were erupting
from the ground, laying claim onto
whatever sliver of life their only week
on earth could offer before the season
moved on. When the bombs went off,
we moved boxes from one house to another.
We spent the week sorting, packing, taping,
lifting. We were moving. We were trading
one life for another when the bombs went
off. New house, new neighborhood.
We were fielding invitations to attend
the local Baptist church. We were trying
to change the subject. We were watching tv
reports. Shaking our heads. We tried
to change the channel, but somehow, the news
always found us. Our child hung around,
shuffled her feet. When the bombs went off,
she was outside shaking pink blossoms down
from the redbud tree. At least we thought
it was a redbud. At least it looked like a party.
We were accepting pan after pan of neighborly
lasagna. Not telling anyone that we didn’t
eat meat. We were lying by omission. When
the bombs went off, we were pretending to sleep
on a mattress in the middle of our new
bedroom. It was the yellow of spring.
Irises were erupting. Anther and
filament knew nothing but to quiver
as voices rose in the streets, some game
of stick ball breaking out between the kids
who were allowed to stay out past dark.