on the wall opposite, I want to show you
wearing her mother’s brushstrokes,
clothed in the ochres of decorum, the hot bonnets
and silks of that century.
Hard to believe as we cross the road–the grass
dry, cropped and exhausted–that there was ever
a flood on this earth.
We leave the museum and go to a nearby café,
In the harsh noon light your cheeks are flushed.
The line is not perfect.
My first daughter you were my dove, my summer,
my skies lifting, my waters retreating,
my covenant with the earth.