The day you learned to love bitterness,
you were sure you were grown.
Older, you set flowers in clear water as if
with enough kindness, they would not fade.
The din of thousands of wanting cranes
informs your winter steps. You count
on them like husbands, every dawn.
Then one morning, they are gone.
Lola Haskins’ most recent poetry collection is How Small, Confronting Morning (Jacar, 2016). Her prose work includes an advice book and a book about Florida cemeteries. Among her honors are the Iowa Poetry Prize and two Florida Book Awards. She serves as Honorary Chancellor of the Florida State Poet’s Association.