Sunday, December 05, 2021

Camellias: Then and Now

Camellias— 2008

This morning's sun is not the honey light
of summer, thick with golden dust and slow
as syrup pouring from a jug. It's bright,
but thin and cold, and slanted steep and low
across the hillsides. Frost is blooming white,
these flowers forced by icy winds that blow
as hard this morning as they blew all night.
Too cold for rain, but far too dry for snow.

And I am restless, pacing to and fro
enduring winter's grip, that holds us tight.
But my camellias, which somehow know
what weather to expect— they're always right—
have broken bud. Now scarlet petals glow
outside the window where I sit and write.

Camellias— 2021

That was then. Now the blooms appear
in late November, doomed to die in frost.
I haven’t closed the calendar. The year
unturned, unlaid the summer’s ghosts:
camellias, what are you thinking here?
I trusted you to know our weather, most
accurate of forecasts. Now I fear

this springtime promise that I held so dear
this blaze of red, this shouting floral boast
in winter’s depth, that winter’s end was near
has turned to doubt. Another hidden cost
of climate change; another frozen tear
upon my cheek; another anchor, lost.

Books Available
The Day of My First Driving Lesson
Country Well-Known as an Old Nightmare's Stable
High-Voltage Lines
Knocking from Inside

No comments: