Catalpa

This one flowers late, grows crooked, overwhelms
with its beauty - a thousand pyramidal blossoms
standing along its branches, turned toward the sun.
Each white-lobed corolla scalloped and ruffled,
each deep-curving throat - with its yellow lining,
its purple streaks - leading back to the pollen,
showing the way to hovering, heavily laden bees.

This one holds up the largest leaves - shingle
of bright green, asymmetrical layer upon layer,
drifting and reaching out - tangle of stiff pods
opened and split now, seeds tufted and papery,
scattering through the bottomland. This one
is tall and twisted, burned by lightning.
This one grows out from its old scars.

This one has always been here, where everything
is quiet and still - on the far side of the creek,
across the log, then over the fence, strands
of barbed wire almost rusted through now,
sinking into the grass. Just ahead, in the middle
of the clearing, this one waits - leaves shifting
in the wind, flowers nodding, giving back light.

First published in River Styx.

Catalpa
Monday, May 8, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: tree,countryside,flowers,spring
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Denis Mair 08 May 2017

very fine. seeing the modest grace and particularity in the life-plan of a living thing, part of one's everyday backdrop, but also capable of encountering us as one living thing to another. This is written with botanical knowledge, but also dovetailing with everyday perceptual memories of an all-season stroller.

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