She Knows Me In Her Sleep
by Michael Mark


I cut you before your white petals
had their chance to fully open.
Two more days were all you needed
in this April’s gentleness
and they would have bloomed
for maybe three days and then
browned, shriveled
and a breeze from the ocean
miles away
or a passing car would
have scattered them in
the bushes, over the driveway
onto the neighbors’ lawns.
And I would have had to get
the broom —
that would have been
Thursday.
But I cut you this evening
because garbage pick-up is
tomorrow at 7am and the truck
only comes once a week.
So I judged you far enough along.
If you were a bud still or just a day out,
partly wrapped in green, your
pointy cone head peeking, I’d
have passed by with my clippers –
like Yahweh on the Passover,
seeing the blood on the door post,
and moved on to do my business
elsewhere.
With so many buds and new blooms
I didn’t think anyone
would miss you— not me, not the
neighbors walking by to get their mail
at the end of the cul-de-sac, the dogs
sniffing at one of their spots, or
even the picky picky
landscaping committee from
our home owners association.
But I was wrong. And this is my
worthless apology,
standing here, in the street,
all the houses dark, whispering
into a garbage can.

My wife is asleep, but if
she knew I was out here,
she’d say, Yes, yes, he’s so good
with apologies after he cuts you.






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