40. Still

A clump of bluebonnets stands in the alley

long past

Memorial Day. Usually they’re fried by Easter.


In the spring they grow

in green pastures,

beside busy highways.


Now they look tired, out of place,

like they didn’t get the notice that it’s time

to make room for the warm wildflowers.


Tomorrow is Independence Day, and they’re still there

barely blue.

The Mexican hats, the wine cups, even


the firewheels have faded.

Those stubborn bluebonnets hang on

like my mother


still thriving through cancer

after cancer

after cancer.