Wye Mountain

By Stacey Margaret Jones

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Winds cut through thick fleece,
the sky is dirty-cotton-ball gray,
but it’s two days past the vernal equinox.
You want to see the daffodil fields.
We heave the youngest dog into the back seat
but leave the older two behind,
ask the iPhone, “Where is Wye Mountain?”
Pointing the sedan toward the gold, we go.

Twelve years ago
the daffodils were blooming
in St. David’s, Wales,
for the saint’s day.
Anointed, we were honeymooning,
touring the ruins
of the Bishop’s Palace,
clambering up the split levels
of former sanctity,
wondering about the hearts of the holy
buried below.

Bickering now,
we forged out of town,
on a road we’d never traveled,
but you had cycled this way with a friend.
“There’s the turn to Houston,”
you pointed. “It was so windy,
the rain was coming straight
into our faces. I could feel the water go
Back and forth in my pedaling shoes.”

We passed a white clapboard church,
St. Boniface, that boasted
thin maroon trim and a flinty,
flakey graveyard.
You promised yourself
we would stop on the way home for photos.
“Just like Central Europe,” you said, remembering
your years as a solo expatriate.

The daffodils in Wye
May have been a little past their sell-by,
Thinning, with more green in the field
Than yellow, than gold.
But you slipped past the “field closed” sign
To stroll, to smell, to roll
Our memories in raucous color
from long ago,
that wasn’t under a gray, difficult sky,
scraped by a merciless, cutting wind.

– Stacey Margaret Jones 

Author’s Note: “Wye Mountain” was written as an investigation of a relationship through narrative poetry. I’m very interested in how to “explode” relationships through incidents and happenings, what artifacts mean for the people who interpret them.