Dahlia

She’d never seen them, these other flowers.
They were his once, carefully picked into
his spring. Their fragrances were treasured
and preserved for a while – a season or two.

She knew their kind, their beautiful pedigrees –
tulips, roses, lilies of the valley,
even a few blushing daisies
that were anything but shy.

No, she didn’t have to imagine how
they gave him pleasures, and how
some love-struck lilacs even foolishly
attempted at surviving his winter .

Surely he’s learned, certain things
they tried to teach him.

For he understood her, although somewhat
shallowly. He knew her climate, her sun and
moon, her ebb and tide in the evening dew;  and he knew
how to make her curl softly into the night…

Yet she sensed that he was quite
unaware of the strength of her kind; she wondered
if he knew just how deep she could
cut her stem into the dark arid soil, and then bloom

Alas, the man’s formidable desire
for anything that he could not grasp.
So, she was not surprised when,
coming home, she saw them lying at her doorway.

How lovely they are still, she thought.
roses, tulips, lilies of the valley, and other
withered memories, their petals plucked
and thrown at her feet, a homage, and she knew

that the weight of this love has crushed him.
Slowly –
she trod through years of his love and regret,
following the floral trail into his secret garden,

and there he was,
already fallen
down on one knee
for her.

A Woman’s Villanelle

This is the town with the house with the woman with the fire inside
She arranges her mornings with needles and flowers, becoming quieter
Everyday wishing there is more to life than this great lone pine

They do not talk to her anymore, nor do they visit her with apple pies
The future is a gray seagull, they say, the sun has gone to another
Nameless town with a house with a woman with a fire inside

Over the hills a cruel wind blows, she sits and listens, still as life
The moon usurps the sun in her white gown, killing the last sputters
Everyday wishing there is more to life than this great lone pine

She watches the wind overturn the wheelbarrow and the rusty bike
She rides at night like a golden broom, a naked witch, hunting after
The small town with the house with the woman with the fire inside

When the wind ceases, the sun bobs back with a gold ring and a lie
She buries the old thorns and stitches a new rose out of the guileless feathers
Everyday wishing there is more to life than this great lone pine

Who’s to say she won’t triumph over these tempests that agonize
Her soul, at first a mystery, and then a revelation, spurring her
Everyday to hope for more in life than this great lone pine
In this town with her house with herself with this fire inside

 

Originally published on September 3, 2016 on my old blog. 

Eleventh Piece

The white frost is gone.
The lemon tree has grown.

I want to talk to you about your heart
that you’ve been neglecting lately like a cold.

And you don’t even know.

The white frost is gone.
The lemon tree has grown

so much stronger since you were here
last spring with seeds, pebbles and a hope.