Nine

Today’s crossword
is hard except
for nine across.
Nine letters and
the definition is
sorrow or grief.

Of course it’s
heartache.  I form
boxy letters that
look right in
their square and
separate little homes.

When we were
nine, you carved
a generous heart
into the birch tree
behind my house,
placed our initials
inside.  No lines
of division – instead,
a plus sign brought
us together on
smooth, white bark.