I was impatient
as you selected
the flowers
one at a time
for the bouquets:
the peonies, pinks,
and coral bells
you had grown.

You kept asking:
What do you think?
How do they look?
How long will they last?
How would I know?

You took joy
in the choosing,
your gnarled hands
arranging each bloom.

I was mystified,
embarrassed, even:
they’d been
some twenty years,
your husband,
your brother.

I couldn’t
I, with no deaths
to my name,
with all my deaths
waiting ahead.