Lilac Season by Ann E. Wallace

Lilac Season
—for Raya

As spring arrived once more,
the death calls petered out.
We made it through a full year,
just barely, and survived.

Scarred and struggling, we let down
our guard, celebrated our escape.

The final blow came then
in the thirteenth month, shots
burning fresh in our arms, cherry trees
almost gaudy in their pink finery.

Our joy as foolish, death ordinary
and unexpected would not stop.

Come lilac season, we swiped
a sprig or two from untended
side gardens and held the purple
blooms to our unmasked noses.

We inhaled the sweetness, so strong
and fleeting, and wept for you.

by Ann E. Wallace

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Editor’s Note: This poem reminds the reader that grief can happen even in the light and joy of a new season.