for Christine Cote

Sunny morning here
but nearly went down to freezing again last night.

The geraniums on the stone bench
we just put out are struggling but
we’re hoping the radiant warmth will restore them.

We’ve left part of the front lawn uncut
since it is blossoming with purple and white violets

and grape hyacinth. It is the grape hyacinth,
though, that make that true aesthetic statement,
with their bunched purple bells lining their stems

as straight as luscious exclamation points.
I have so much to be grateful to you for.

I’m keyed in to your writing that you think the new
book “quite a thrill.” That makes my heart pulse and
my blood quicken.

Our collaborations are quite sweet for me. Never
has any before been with any other publisher or editor.

Never any more than with you — of which I am constantly
humbled by and filled with, concomitantly.
Wishing you safety and health and big, broad, deep days,

during this dark time of the pandemic, of sunlit warmth—
both from within and without.

Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as co-winner in the 2011 Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Contest, and A Bird Who Seems to Know Me: Poems Regarding Birds & Nature (Ex Ophidia Press, 2019), the winner of the 2018 Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Prize.