for Frances

When I was young, wind blew prairie grass to sky
over the fields at dawn

meadowlarks to wheat, bright as summer hair
and in the evening

sun fell red off the lid of land.

He fell in love with me, the man
though I was a girl, I was old enough to know

and I laughed, his pallid hand leafing bible pages
for a blessing.

I married another.
My wedding gown lay tissued

in a drawer for years, bodice, skirt
growing smaller.

The winter I fell ill he visited me
bearing prayer in his quiet hand.

My children ran to open the door
and snow lay over the garden.