You Should Take With You
by Kristi McKim

The midnight rainstorm through windowed walls,
Sliver of lightning in lowlight, May’s dazzling slice

Through spring’s last days: lovers lay down
Their clothes, follow April to bed, wizened

Toward caramel hours collecting dust, cottage
Sill brimming with pies cooling. You should find

Your house whole on a bed of buttercups,
Field of fleabane, maybe a sinewy thornful patch

Of roses growing round your waist. You should
Take home thin limbs of wending Elms, talling

Trees that stretch your back to see their swaying
Leaftop. You should carry a cupful of rainwater,

Lest you forget the light feeling like petals floating
Flowerful on steaming summer pond. You should

Pack a smart basket of apples. Maybe you will grow
Hungry, glean the ready harvest, ravish ripe rows

Of fields for fullest fruit that falls when wanton
Wind does your work, and you cup your hands to catch

The dying midfall. Maybe you might stir the stars with light
Fingers, cursive and threading, I know because I know.

You should take reds and blues, perchance color
Needs your help. Take a pencil so you’ll never be

Lost, a map to recall these streets. And words,
Take them, so long as you return, and with more.

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