Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

I better not. You’d boil at the thought.
Might I entice you toward an early spring?
You could explode through thaw like daffodils
or strut with stellar jays around our yard.
Or, how about the brave magnolia tree
that beats out cherry, plum, forsythia
each year and risks a frost to be the first?
Something in you, my dear, desires to lead,
can’t bear the thought of standing second best.

But let me clarify: There’s just no way
you are the mower needing sharpening
nor peat that rests behind our garden shed
nor surly rains that shut a gardener in.     
You’ve gleaned – withstanding twenty years
of partnering – I am the mower dulled
from summer’s wear. I am the peat that waits
its spread as soon as coastal storms abate.
And, if you wish, I’d even be the shed.
Something in me feels worthy to protect.

But if these images still needle you
and you’d prefer the echo of a smile,
organic food consuming kitchen shelves,
the copper tint you splashed across our walls,
please humor me. Jot down on sticky notes
the things that speak to you of you. Arrange
them like perennials in tidy rows
near my writing pad and coffee cup.     
I am an unlined page and cooling brew.


Carolyn Martin