Years ago I planted a little patch of fritillaria beside my back door, because I love the flowers with their checkerboard pattern, and I love the name with its checkerboard sound, and because I am a sucker for words–I fall in love with them. And so this patch of flowers, that only last for a week or two in spring and aren’t stunningly beautiful but rather, interesting, was there for years,
but now there is just this one.
Because my dog, the one we have had for two years, not the one we had before that who knew how to use the paths in my garden, but this one, the one we have now, always, always chooses the path of least resistance, always takes the shortest distance between two points, and this means that the straight line he runs from the back field to our back door goes right through my patch of fritillaria.
And now it is no longer a patch but a path
and there is only just this one,
but how I love its checkerboard pattern
how I love its subtle posture
and how I love, love, love that word.