Write a poem that has the word “love” hidden in it somewhere.
The whole length of the driveway was river stones,
above-average gravel sliding and clacking
under the frozen tires.
Parked beneath the winter-fallen Willow, I stepped down,
aware of how the ground looked like the beginnings of a cairn,
carelessly gathered, just in case someone died.
New sunlight spilled over the flat line of the farmland expanse
just behind the house, and my breath condensed as it left me.
Inside, she waited with her wailing mother,
whispering impotent consolation between creaks
from the upstairs floorboards, straining
under the weight of the work of bringing out the dead,
her brother, her son…
The sounds did not make it to me outside,
and in my last moments of silence I squinted
at the ambulance, unmoving, wrapped in unnatural light
reflections of electric yellow and shocking blue
from its brazen skin, a dayglo veneer of snap-to admonition.
I don’t know why I thought I was the first one she had called.