A Benefaction

To the ancestors, I make offerings 
of wood and fire, strings of dried 

marigold and strawflower— Yet it's
as if they want to tithe every small 

joy I put away in a box under my bed, 
every small stretch of time that seems 

to have escaped the mouth of some 
new agony. Through sparse, dry grass 

that slept all winter, now the sharp 
green spades of daffodils begin 

to make openings in the soil. I watch 
how each morning they gain another 

half-inch; how they begin to unwrap 
their heads from all their tight 

bandaging. Do they, like me, hold 
their breath through every uncertain 

interim? My children, my children—
there's nothing more I desire than a few 

bright coins to push into your open palms; 
a kindness that keeps, from the infinite. 

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