Four Minus Three
By Shannon P. Laws
The sanctuary of four tulips
in a heavy glass jar
atop the round dining table
bathe in afternoon sun
Church is found in
the smallest folded places
A god does not determine
who lives or dies
It is the science of fate
The seat you sit in at three a.m.
when a moose moves out from the brush
Three bleed-out inside a crumpled-ball of car
if asked by any nurse or doctor
could tell you
what the family
ate for dinner
The door squeaks Hello as I enter her sanctuary
The leather garden gloves still hold the hands.
I see them.
It is the first thing I see.
History molded into each finger strip
crooked right pointer finger
bump on the left where a ring sat
blacken ends that dipped in fresh soil
over and over
The pair rest near a dirt encrusted terracotta pot,
shears in their sleeve, handle still shiny.
Hedge trimmer hangs on a bent brown nail
But, the bulbs—
the bulbs below the counter
hidden in a beat up cardboard box
the to-be-planted promises
carry the weight of the room
She was ready for the early spring.