Poem

Camellia      

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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