There’s a chill in the house
as I sweep the basement flood.
Deer tramp through the daffodils
to eat the tulip shoots. Camellias flower
tropical among dead growth.
Colors bloom: deep red peonies,
flame azaleas, bleeding heart.
A robin carries twigs and leaves
to nest in a painted bird house.
Next, spotted dead nettle,
chocolate lily, mauve moss phlox.
Glass table coated with pollen.
Chipmunks run loose
safe, now the cat is dead.


Vera Kewes Salter published her chapbook “In Lewy’s Body” in 2024 with Finishing Line Press. Her work appears in a variety of publications. She is a care partner for her husband who is afflicted with Dementia. She writes at the Hudson Valley Writer’s Center and lives in New Rochelle, NY.