Coffeehouse Poets: Remembrance of tauschia and a tender spring

w.d. frank

W.D. Frank is a writer, artist and musician.

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.

Learn more about the contest and the organization at and

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.

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