Small green plums, now hard and sour,
finally form on the tree in our backyard.
The rose bushes go crazy with spring.
He snaps the thorns off one by one
and cuts me a bouquet. My grandmother
used to lick the back of a thorn,
press it to her nose, sometimes it would stick,
a wart on a witch, for a minute.
She often reminded me that people were sometimes
mean. When I tell you I love you,
I mean it--this is the fiercest part of me
that I hand over to you. I had a dog that attacked
when scared. (And he was scared of everything,
the slickness of the kitchen floor and July
gusts.) You take this heart of mine,
and give it meaning, use, like the fruit in our tree,
it will ripen by summer.