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, 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.