It was early morning when she descended the steps
to the porch side, teacup in hand, dressed in her nightgown.
Steam billowed from her cup, and with a swallow
she examined her garden of weeds and unexpected peonies.
It was early for blooming peonies; frost, like glass,
still settled on the lawn, reflecting sunrise light of tangerine.
The radiant glow of tangerine
cast amber trails across steps
covered in an icy coating of glass.
Between her fingers she tucked her nightgown
and gingerly treaded the garden of peonies
that melted the frost in one great flower swallow.
The barn swallow,
perched not far from the path of tangerine,
must have also taken notice of the peonies
as he took the first steps
to nest-building. She imagined that his lady bird, also in her nightgown,
would enjoy the flowerbed of glass
that he chose for their home. Sipping her glass
of tea, she admired the familiar swallow
lover as she folded into her nightgown
bouquets of peonies that glistened in the tangerine
sunlight. She took the steps
back to the house, recalling her own swallow’s peonies:
placed in vases of glass,
peonies lining the porch steps,
peonies presented over morning tea. With a swallow,
she carefully, methodically lined the tangerine
trail with the peonies from her nightgown.
stained with the rouge petals of peonies,
dragged along the tangerine
terrace of glass,
blood red with the memory of her swallow
lover’s peony-petaled steps.
The steps to the house creaked beneath her nightgown.
The barn swallow, quieted by the rouge of the peonies,
shut his glass eyes to the skies of tangerine.