Last year a fuzzy blanket, this year an amaryllis,
gifts to encourage my girls through the gray
so you can watch for spring
my card says.

The seed for all this, the solace
I took in watching the amaryllis unfold
in the kitchen as Ellen lay dying in the living room,
checking each day for what color would emerge,
finally one morning a shocking pink,
fresh as a new day and now, years later,
finding the hyacinth burst into blossom overnight
pink and hopeful on my breakfast table.