Saturday, April 25, 2009

National Poetry Month: Day #25

Yesterday afternoon, we went north to LaConner to look at tulips. It's an annual event, a pilgrimage of sorts that reminds us, when we are weariest of winter and gray walls of rain, that life is about change and color and sunlight and laughter. The year after my mother died, I wrote this poem on the day of that pilgrimage:

In Tulips

Today, beneath a plane
of sheer, unbroken blue,
while Baker's snowy shoulders shimmered
pink and gold in the distance, I caught
a glimpse of her
among the sun-drenched cups
of fairy porcelain
quivering in the breeze,
her cheeks as pale and soft as petals,
that wry smile and arched brow,
emerald eyes glistening
with a thousand hours
of laughter, dancing
with her sisters:
the flapper, the philosopher,
and the long-suffering saint.

Just then a giggling child,
his round face like an ochre moon,
set with eyes of glittering obsidian,
stumbled into me and gasped
surprised, I think, by my cool
touch on his chubby arm.
He turned and ran, clumsy as a puppy,
to grasp his mother's dangling hand.

I looked again into the endless
stripes of color, but they were gone.

Only tulips danced like swaying gypsies
on the wind.

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