We peel the plastic lid from the cold, forgotten coffee can.
It was delivered earlier from Ann, my aunt, in the heat
of a summer afternoon. Inside, we find ice-cube thank yous,
mostly melted shards floating in a sea of lemonade. I pull
out the largest to study it: a disk-shape. A pink rose
dribbles between a dripping green Thank and an oozing green you.
Flavors, tasted from the tip of a finger, lemon, lime and strawberry,
run, mingle and melt into each other. Although she sent one
for each of us, three rapidly shrinking disks and slivers
are all that remain. If we'd only opened them sooner;
if it could only be undone. But it cannot. Inside the frame
of the disk melting between my fingers: crystals of ice,
joined at the center, a many-pointed star. Shining. Blazing
radiates all of the sun's light and maybe more. My Aunt's love!
Such surprising brilliance! Such luminance and beauty!
I want to capture and keep it in a picture, but is melts,
crumbles and is gone before I can get my camera. I'm sad
until I realize we have her love. She may have melted
between our fingers and disappeared, but her love is with us.
And that star? Snared in my memory, and still intact.
Mary Stebbins Taitt
for Ann Ciaranello