Regrown from the Pleistocene

Regrown from the Pleistocene

The petals are much narrower,
more splayed, and yet they look
as fresh as modern campion,

as clean.  The thirty-two millennia
that lie between the generation
and the germination of its seed

have seen the glaciers melt,
the wooly mammoths die.
Is it dismayed to wake uprooted

from prehistory, surrounded
by machines? Or does it celebrate
its resurrection with a shiver

of its leaves, a glowing
of its flower, a stirring
in its fruit?

 

 

Joyce Schmid’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Imagination, New Ohio Review, Antioch Review, The Dark Horse, Poetry Daily, and other journals and anthologies. She lives with her husband of over half a century in Palo Alto, California, USA.

[A rhododendron just before it opens]

[A rhododendron just before it opens]

A rhododendron just before it opens,
rain about to form, engorgement
of a breast. But it is January:
chill shuts down the buds.
There is no rain, no nursling child.
I grew up in a world of promises,
flared skirts and smiles, the sun
was mild, its rays straight lines.
It’s taken me three quarters of a century
to learn the sound of time, the yearning
of a forest for its pines. Today I woke
to see a thick branch of our mulberry
shine warmly like my mother’s hair,
but then I saw the sun itself, gone wild:
I was your god but you abandoned me.
Now burn. 

 

Joyce Schmid’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Imagination, New Ohio Review, Antioch Review, Poetry Daily, The Dark Horse, and other journals and anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California, USA, with her husband of over half a century.

 

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