spirea

at the little grey house on the corner

the spirea has begun to bloom,

delicate white blossoms creeping mistily down its long, slender branches.

when i was young we would snip lengths of our own bushes

to fill may baskets made from construction paper cones;

once upon a time my mother and grandmothers did the same,

leaving the offerings on front steps and doorknobs

and running away before anyone answered the bell.

one sunny sunday at the first of may

i opened the door to a basket filled with surprises

and a note in unrecognizable printing wishing me a happy day.

years later, the benefactor remains a mystery

(though i have my suspicions), and, even if i knew,

our spirea bushes have long since withered away.