Poetry settles me down, quiets me. It is a gift I give myself. Here are two for you to enjoy.
Without reason she holds onto hunger,
starving in the day,
emotional bones exposed to the night.
Red-heeled pumps tap a beat across the bar floor.
When did the night not matter, a mind crossing harsh terrain?
Slithers of sweat linger…a descent into stumble.
He offered a damp rose of retreat, absent of smell.
I care….truth isn’t always grand.
A tall green-leafed cluster of white dances in the mild breeze.
“I’m here!” its dark leaves and daisy heads declare.”
And every year I say, “No more!”
Yet, unwavering, here it comes—pushing through the tangle of ivy,
its buds a portent of blooms.
How can I deny it life?
Ah, but hence, we begin to fall out, as stems give way and heads droop
as it tangles upon itself, hither and nigh—refusing my command to stand.
Okay, I’ll lend a hand to stake it, to truss it.
For a hopeful few days we find peace, even share a smile.
But all too soon, it again turns tired—the tackiest plant in a carpet of garden.
Should I end the battle—yank it?
I wrestle with doubts. Did I do my part—weed, trim, water just right?
Was the plant wisely environed – for a daisy?
Did I support its élan; launch it with love? I thought so.
Or was I tentative—a planting on the quick?
My head tilts sideways to survey the rag-tag upstart.
Are you striving against my folly—trying to please?
My eyes slant with suspicion. Are you testing me?
I reach to pluck a bright white petal: you love me, you love me not.
Is it vying for my attention—that daisy?
In the cold center of some Tuesday, did my mind wander toward a geranium?
I glance across the green to the pasture, the better side.
Why is life about living and dying, standing straight or giving up?
What does this plant want of me!
I pass by, glancing at the now pathetic July-worn clump, when out of my discerning eye, I catch a new bloom, bouncing giddily—so alive.
One flower, not more clever than all the hundreds of blossoms in my garden.
Okay, I sigh softly. One more year.