Flower Child

Francesca knows more 
than she lets on 
we hold hands & walk to the oxeye
she points & calls it 
we ask the bush for one
a bee startles her & she puts her right hand to her heart
she holds the flower up to her nose, then mine 
we take it to Adam & Carol on uneven feet, she holds it up to everyone's nose a few times
Carol asks Francesca what color the flower is 
she tells carol pink 
we take flower 
back across the yard 
she tries to give it back to the bush a few times
but realizes something isn't working

I show her
how to put flowers back together 

We are a people our own 
haunted by memory
harbingers of suffering
champions of mistakes
unhinged children grown tall & heavy
but sometimes 
we all hit the block at once
& how else
could I have made it this far

we all stand around & look down to you
you'll do better, won't you?

This is the bench where I met your mother
we are not of blood
but we are family
this is the bench where time proves itself

you lean into my side 
something good