After the service, back at the house,
someone asked about the vine
on the front fence.
You remember, the one
I always nagged you
to dig up and out and gone
because the thick dead trails
of thin gray string made such a mess
after the blooms stopped
and I was tired of cleaning the fence.
You always refused,
saying--approval in your voice--
the vine paid its way in blossom time.
Disinterested, I regarded
the small flowers
in the mass of crawling vine and
tried to give it a name.
Later, someone exclaimed,
"Look! A hummingbird vine!"
and moved to get a closer look.
In the afterfuneral smalltalk, two visitors
recalled childhood memories
richly flavored with such a vine.
To a chorus of startmesome, I promised.
Today, for the second year
I've known the name,
I pulled the gray tendrils off the fence
and I thought of you.
And, with pleasure, I thought of
the perfect, five-pointed blossoms
unpretentious scarlet stars
soon to appear
summer's bright red dots
punctuating the delicate, dark green traceries
cascading, looping from post to post
hiding the ugly wire fence.