When You Come

(after reading Kimiko Hahn)

by Lisa Hodgens

This gladness can be a color:  fire,
let’s call it, or oxblood, say, or wine.

Your first painting after the sorrow
brushed crimson a blackbird wing in flight

against the russet October light
of the city where we met.  Your next

gift—a bouquet of scarlet dahlias,
snipped from your garden, placed in a vase.

The wraiths that marked your drawings have fled,
maroons that haunted your canvases

gone. The raven you saw when you closed
your eyes has flown to feast on others’

despair.  Your house is now a refuge,
your garden a place of peace.  In your

dream, fox cubs tumble harmlessly
beneath apple-heavy boughs.  You sleep

quietly as never before, then
spill melons, plums, rosefire at my door.

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