Carol Baldwin

On the farm you used to eat pie for breakfast.
 
You looked fashionable in Minneapolis
under mink and chinchilla furs.
You took botany at the university;
you were Grandpa’s lab partner
before you dropped out of school.
 
Grandpa forgot your age
but remembered to love you.
He said every year
with daffodils and baby’s breath
three days after Pearl Harbor
so it must be your birthday.
 
You added confectioners’ sugar to history
like angel-food-cake batter.
You campaigned for Ronald Reagan twice
because he seemed like a nice person.
 
Four days after Grandpa died of throat cancer
you turned on the bathwater and drowned yourself.
 
Is there a psych hospital in outer space?
Does a grief counselor chart your sorrow?
Do you water bluebell creepers in O.T.?
Are you with Grandpa on another planet?
Do wives cook venison there?
Do you know I’m vegetarian?
I don’t look at the deer my husband shoots.
 
God takes begonias with the first frost.