someone else would forget
the photo that dropped behind
the refrigerator, the sock behind
the dryer. I had the memory
of a migratory bird. I took pride
in what I remembered: names,
birthdays, the size of your inseam.
But I forgot you. I forgot you—
the slowest spring. Opening petal,
then petal. Every so often you would
take something out of the box
and reveal yourself to me:
The plastic frog with the black
eye, the photo of your father
without him in it.
I was good at love, I thought. I could
give you everything at once—
heavy snowfall, mud slide, closed
highway. But I want to love you
the way you love me: slow
and patient, as when we waited
all afternoon for the wood duck
to appear from the thicket of cattails.
I had forgotten the rewards of a slow
spring: the gratitude for summer,
the subtle iridescence of the wood
duck's breast, the sound of waxwings
in the birches, a box with the lid
cracked open. Teach me to love slow.
Remember me the box.