In the evening,
the breathing of blue
spruces, frost heavy on their lashes,
whispers like a finger drawn over cold, stiff suede.
It is the hush of my mother’s voice,
creeping between the panes,
crawling down the hall
to linger at my heels.
Outside, the garden grass stands cold,
soldiers on the verge of sleep,
no longer forced into prayer
beneath the weight of her knees.
The anemones dance in wait
for their first winter alone.
But her shadow,
once sunken in the garden,
spurns the later years
that it had been smothered
against the upholstery of her chair,
where the shadow now sleeps—
a stain in the valley of suede.