The Yakima Coffeehouse Poets, a nonprofit formed in 2014 to represent the interests of poets and poetry lovers in Central Washington, is the organization behind this poetry column, which runs on the fourth Thursday of each month. It features inland Washington poets and their winning poems from the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets’ annual contest.
W.D. Frank is a writer, artist, musician and occasional professor of Russian imperial and Soviet history from Yakima. His latest publication, “Skis in the Art of War by K.B.E.E. Eimeleus,” a volume in the Northern Illinois University Series in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, will be available through Cornell University Press in October. Frank also advocates for May 12th International Awareness Day supporting research into ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
The Year Without You — Spring 2015
It was a day you would have loved out there
a strange warm break in this incomprehensible winter
strolling through the canyon
with grasswidows backlit and glowing
like a thousand vermillion lanterns in the morning sun.
Early violets and yellow bells were brilliant, sweetheart;
and the tauschia’s showing too
more robust than ever,
your favorite flower,
same as the ones you found years ago
growing in tiny rock patches behind our house.
You called up to me on the porch
to come look at their rosemary leaves
and petals of fresh cream
a treasure petite, so delicate and rare
with us such a short time
then gone one April afternoon
leaving me searching in a gossamer blink
for the remnants
convincing myself I wasn’t mistaken
because you were my witness —
that beautiful world really existed once.
And don’t you remember?
You smiled — and how your eyes sparkled —
when we promised each other
to protect and cherish that plot of tauschia together,
As we walked back inside, you grasped my arm
in your old familiar way —
fingertips placed gently just inside the elbow —
to lean your head against me
in the first soft breeze of spring.