... on a late night balcony ... you trace the great bear above us ... and I the small spiderweb tattooed on your back ... my unchanging constellations
Painting by Joan Miro, "Constellation: Before the Rainbow"
I've been thinking about that summer, your last summer. We were sitting under a tree at the tea house on Canyon Road admiring the glass infuser in which the tea was resting, talking about ghosts, history, the new artist you'd brought into the gallery, your plans for me in that old adobe house filled with paintings, and shadows on the wall. We knew you were leaving this world and you wanted to make things good for me before you left. It was a good plan. But, the house proved too dark, the ghosts too real. Now, it's summer again. You've been gone nine years. I'm back in Minnesota sipping my morning tea, watching shadows on the lawn ... yellow and green, light and dark. In the distance, a gleam of red from the old coffee can that's now a birdhouse. Inside, a mother wren caring for her babies.