for Brenda Porterfield, on her 75th birthday

Each year

you surprise me

like the first taste

of joy

after long sorrow

has tamped down

even longing

into gray wood,

and I have

forgotten all the

colors but brown,

and all the sounds

but that of

dry leaves underfoot.

I look out

a frosted windowpane

and you appear again,

bold pink, standing out

like a girl overdressed

for a party,

perfection unfurled

and symmetric as

a baker’s cake-flower,

your center a sunrise.

You speak of more

that waits

in stillness, in want

of light and time

to wake it

into beaty,

buds of potential

turned to glory —

abundance that

defies freezing nights,

resilient, determined

to bloom.

— Laura Lomax

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