Seeds the Dead Had Planted Way, Way Back When They Were Living Have Begun to Bear Fruit

This poem won Editor's Mom's Choice in 2-Day Poem Contest 2022

Above the pushed-up daisies, the dead will wait with you,
some fuss about, noctambulant or slowly pace the garden, limned in
moonlight, some rise like wisps, phosphorescent, hovering above the bog.
But your dead crowd your kitchen, moored to your heart’s conflicts, same as

you—while you crunch pretzels, they spin Pink Floyd’s Us & Them
inside your skull, loud enough to drown you out. Take a listen as they
slink out through memory’s timid fissures, and urge you to begin their
mending now. They guide you back, to cross over several iterations,

pop up in your awareness, cool as one of those rare flying dreams
where the horizon keeps tugging you forward and the jumbled
junk drawer of your memories meets time and space limitations broadside,
spilling little souvenir packets amongst the Day-Glo shoelaces and dried-up

bicycle patch kits. How memories spark backward through the spell of years,
and flash like jolts of Wilder Penfield’s electric probe, burnt toast stink
wafting up from visions crammed with Polaroids and old report cards, tipped
buckets of pond water and failure, defiant tomboy sisters on the front stoop,

small hands on wax harmonicas, bending childhood’s shrill diatonic horn blasts.
Melting orange sherbet sky. The neighbour’s yard clouded blue with lawnmower
fumes and mown grass clumped beneath a flowering crabapple tree’s
crouched skeleton. Heredity

shoots up and down your spine like a virus, blooms in blood,
leaks through your lifeline, a ghost that can slip
through all of your years at once.
Let us honour those dead, the lost, the buried. Sing

their songs of love and injury,
air out each truth stitched into coverlets and heirlooms. Come
unpack the lies long handed down regardless of complicity. Come on
home, let’s help them sing their blistered songs out toward the stars.

Some days you wake up early, some days
you wake up sad, yet still the bees drone on, busy crowds of
pollinators driving nature forward, attuned to their mnemonic song, their coded
recipe for mixing enzyme spit with flower parts and service

and still the trees go on, churning out prized cherries,
little peachy apricots build up from tender blossoms
to render something holy that can blow your mind with fragrance. Look to them.
If you were patient, you could watch one gently ripen and then

slowly decay, right there in the soft nest of your palm. If you could
pause your life, stop even briefly, you might feel how the universe
will hold you in its palm, and wait, while you
rip open the night-blue envelope of time, to send a letter in.