In the Absence of a Word for a Woman Who Is Not a Mother

“Your dream, then, is of a nothingness where an investment of love lives on.”
~ Charles D’Ambrosio

Under the pitted crust of April snow, blind and
rooting, everything waits. It’s not like you’d
expect, not having children. It’s not

elegy or effigy, but some days even this resolve must
hold its breath, tested
by lily bulbs and history of rose.

Again, the promises of thorn and orange tongue
near their glory, needle through the loam
in interrupting green.

My love with its own labors,
liquid, runs it channels,
energizing what it didn’t fix in place.

By now, I know no ghosts will share my bearing,
and there is peace in what one waters.
No trace or debt, one just

evaporates. My children’s children, offer this
kindness: bless the rain that patters
as a pilgrim loves the road.