It is still spring here in San Francisco. My mother taught me how to “force” bulbs, and to bring in sprays of forsythia which she left in the cloisonne vase on the piano to develop buds and bright yellow cascades of flowers. I think of her in spring and her love of flowers. Even in these difficult times, as my favorite movie character would say, ” There is always hope.”
Only water is required
for the bulb to build root threads.
The roots coil and tangle,
thin worms in base of the glass vase,
pale, like something beneath the ground.
Growing in silence, in dark,
in weeks, a white nub
pushes through the bulb’s onion skin.
Knows its blind way up to the sky.
Nub becomes a sprout,
a spear, blanched stems.
Out in sunlight, chloroplasts
green the stalks in mere hours.
Energy from the Sun yields
to passion for fertility.
Bud swells at the tip of a stem.
Butterfly of petals strain
against the translucent, green skin,
moving, shifting, turning.
Morning releases more petals
and powerful perfume to call
still dreaming bees, and me.
I lean into the flowers,
close my eyes.
Every winter, in the still dark days,
I participate in this ritual of hope.
Outside, deep in the cold earth, other bulbs
are wrapped in slow sleep.
Time for release comes soon.
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