For Margaret Rivers
The sycamore sheds
after a mild winter, branches
trimming the house on Uxbridge road.
We recognise what has passed,
knot into each other just as roots
twist beneath foundations.
The leaves blush against the clouds
as they fall, their sorrow sinking into spring.
What now? How do we embroider
when the needle has dulled?
Stitch upon stitch, silence
is the only way to grasp this.
We survive. By now, the dye must have set:
the petals poised to bloom regardless
of who is there to tend them.
M. J. Arlett is an MFA candidate at Florida International University where she is the nonfiction editor for Gulf Stream Magazine. She was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain and now lives in Miami. Her work can be found in The Boiler Journal, Gravel, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and elsewhere.