I fixed the bluebird house today.
It’s not long for this world, nails rusted
in the roof, and the new screws in the base
accentuate the break that splits the face.
I nearly trod on the first yellow stalk
of daffodil, the line of them, post
after post, along the fence where
your horses used to run.
where you did before you died
down by the river, I find your touch
in small surprises in spring: the one
yellow crocus in the front yard, the purple
hyacinths outside the kitchen window.
Hyacinth was a young Spartan prince,
beloved of Apollo, and the west wind, Zephyrus
At play one day, Apollo threw a discus so hard
it split the clouds, and as Hyacinth leapt to catch it,
Zephyrus blew it off course to strike
Hyacinth a mortal blow to the head.
Apollo could not save him. His blood grew
sweet purple flowers inscribed alas,
alas, the word for despair. What despair
took you down to the river in the spring
and your own mortal wound to the head?
There’s a bench now to mark your place
above the river’s endless flow. I stop and sit.
Questions I didn’t know—wasn’t here—
to ask, before your blood grew
in new grass, year upon year.
Subhaga Crystal Bacon is the author of two volumes of poetry, Blue Hunger, 2020 from Methow Press, and Elegy with a Glass of Whisky, BOA Editions, 2004. A cis-gender, Queer identified woman, she lives, writes, and teaches on the east slope of the North Cascade Mountains, in Twisp, WA.