Our puppy stood in the doorway wagging his little tail.
The mailman had left his presents once again silently demanding
my presence. In answer, I laid the dishtowel on the counter;
a cool, crisp breeze greeting me as I turned the brass knob;
the tip of my nose frosting as our puppy yelped and ran
circles around my feet pushing me down the long, winding road.
Our heart-shaped mailbox guarding the entrance Ė
a symbol of our undying love; a maudlin gift of six years.
My fingers rested on the silver handle intending to free the mail
as my eyes rested on the black ribbon laying against the wooden
post. A single red rose lay against the somber black ribbon.
Glancing around; I realized there was no one in sight.
Our puppy sniffed the air, tail beating fast against the pavement;
it was almost as if you had been here. Your presence, your cologne
engulfed my senses as if you stood before me. I fought the tears
like so many times before, but I was happy I took this walk today.
The sun rose again this morning.
I opened the shutters to allow this luminous reflection
to brighten the kitchen. I like standing in the kitchen overlooking
the mailbox where the single red rose had laid just yesterday.
Our puppy is yelping again, but he is outside playing in the snow.
My curiosity aroused, I gingerly wander outside; snowflakes
lightly concealing my blonde hair as Iím greeted
by yet another single red rose
gently covered by the lingering snow.
My eyes moisten; the pain from this past year threatening
to consume me, but I wash it away with the soft smell
of the red rose. Pretending you cleverly arranged these roses,
I lift my head thanking the sun for rising this morning
and illuminating the snow shielding this beautiful long-stemmed red
rose. Yes, the sun rose again this morning.
The next three days proved to be a floristís heaven.
It was the most precarious thing. One rose lay right outside
my door, and the other two a few feet away. The three red
roses now stand with the other two roses in a vase
on the kitchen counter overlooking the heart-shaped mailbox.
The black ribbon still lays at the foot of the wooden post.
It was still not time to put it away.
I imagine tomorrow will be the day.
My heart still aches Ė demanding remembrance.
I think I may lie down for a minute;
exhaustion conquering my body and my soul.
Single red roses command my subconscious
as your essence imprisons my sanity; longing
for just a glimpse of you as night turns into day.
I guess it's time to put the black ribbon away.
Our puppy confirms this by yelping excitedly as we walk
down the long, winding driveway. I'm not as surprised
to find another single red rose laying against the wooden post.
The mailman has brought the mail, but the only answer
he can provide is a look of pity as I question him
about the roses. Again, I can feel your presence, your cologne;
the air around me embodies every ounce of your being.
A slight breeze across my shoulder; as if you had gently ran
your finger across my skin. I knew it was time.
Today, I will take that drive across the city. The drive
to where you lay. The black ribbon and the six single red
roses shall accompany me on this anniversary of anniversaries.
I gently lay the black ribbon on your stone
with the six beautiful long-stemmed red roses
carefully arranged across your grave.