all this, by Wendy Bourke

all this
by Wendy Bourke

on a whim: I had treated myself to
the purchase of a fat buttercup yellow candle,
that smells more citrus than floral,
as it turns out – and yet –
often, when I light it, in early evening glow,
I think of him, and of a wonderful ramble we’d taken
… not so many short years ago

we had tromped, for some time,
in the direction of a far off horizon
that we didn’t have a hope of reaching
– in the last, full-gleam of the afternoon idyll –
and had come to a pleasant pair
of commodious flat-topped boulders –
ringed with golden buttercups:
a peaceful place to sit and rest a bit
and admire the rolling hills unrolling
as we, wordlessly, picked a perch
and began to unpack the hastily-gathered snack,
we had brought with us

‘kalamata olives and lemon jelly beans, yum’ –
he remarked, arching a quizzical eyebrow
that vanished a dozen or more years …
‘and buttercups blooming at our tired, old feet’,
he concluded, cheerfully

‘all this’, I added, opening my arms wide

sweet breezes were turning chilly – fast –
and flapped at the saran enfolded repast
so tenaciously that nibbling gave way
to running after and retrieving the silver sails
launching into the pacific yonder …
signalling the end of a lovely day – and though,
I ached to say something, the words never came

instead, I placed a single buttercup
in a buttonhole on his shirt
and looking into the beautiful face of
the one I had journeyed with for half a century,
I whispered: ‘all this’

Wendy Bourke lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes, goes on long rambling walks gathering photos and inspiration – and hangs out with her family (especially her two young grandsons). After a life loving words and scribbling poetry lines on pizza boxes and used envelopes, Wendy finally got down to writing “in earnest” six years ago. She received first prize in the Ontario Poetry Society’s Sparkle and Shine contest in 2014 and her poems have appeared in dozens of anthologies, journals and chapbooks.


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