I have given my sister's name
to the stateliest, most graceful
in a row of sycamore trees.
I wade through damp grass
in muffled sunlight to visit her.
I need to go there,
need to touch her trunk,
look up into the patient wisdom
of her branches, listen to the fog
drip from her leaves, feel
the loss of her wring my chest.
I start for home.
The fog begins to lift.
Warm day ahead, a bit of summer.
The sycamores are going sallow
in slanted autumn light.
A cluster of geranium blossoms
greets me at home—her lipstick.
I remember the person she was
when she wore that shade.
Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbooks The Belly Remembers (Pearl Editions) and Along the Fault Line (Picture Show Press), and three full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic, Moraine (Pearl Editions), and Morpheus Dips His Oar (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions). Her work has appeared in Chiron Review, Your Daily Poem, the Writer’s Almanac, Sheila-Na-Gig, Worcester Review, and many other publications. She is a swimmer and a dog lover. More about Tamara can be found at tamaramadisonpoetry.com.