Absent One (for Muriel Ruskeyser)

People keep seeing you and telling me
how white you are, how thin you are.
I have not seen you for a year, but slowly you are
forming above my head, white as
petals, white as milk, the dark
narrow stems of your ankles and wrists,
until you are always with me, a flowering
branch suspended over my life.

- Sharon Olds (1942-)