Passion Flower Poem by Liilia Talts Morrison

Passion Flower

The Shangri-las of dreamy youth
Swept me to greenest coral seas
Deceptive were those beaches, palms
They shanghaied me to brigand lees
On balmy seeming shores I found
Harsh prickles slashing skin and bones
Sun blinding eyes, feet blister bound
I could no longer go back home

One day among thick mangrove roots
Appeared a pretty, purple star
Recklessly I dared to ventured forth
And grabbed that flower from afar
Back in my little wayside room
Those petals glowed when closer viewed
Their secret regions centered round
A wreath of starbursts, violet hued

Then looking at my arms and feet
I gasped as brown and gray small ticks
Clung to my flesh with greedy grasp
Among spur cuts and bloody pricks
Too late I learned a passion flower
Was not 'bout lovers revelry
Its heart revealed the grief poured forth
On sacrificial Calvary

There must be meadows where bare toes
Tiptoe in softest mossy bog
Small children pick blueberries, blooms,
Born in refreshing morning fogs
Valleys where yearnings have no price
Wild rose stalks smooth, bereft of thorns
Chaste brides forever beautiful
Grooms lavish gifts on summer morns

Now evening darkens distant fields
Fair mourning doves long gone to nest
Anhingas, gators settle down
In swampy marshlands to the west
I touch a windowsill bouquet
Fingering dried up purple stars
Recalling lovers of the past
Whose passions quickly wilted, marred

My windows open to the night
Unheeding weather's vagaries
Dark pines and palm trees sway outside
Dancing in evening's calming breeze
In their own rustling way they ask
'Were you to live your life again
Would you still choose this austere land
Or trade it for a velvet glen? '

My spirit answers silently,
Replying quickly, fervently
'I love this land though trade winds sway
Fronds, branches roughly, carelessly
As I have oft been overwhelmed
By lashing storms of love unearned
But how can I on mild ground tread
When our dear Lord all comfort spurned?

'Those brides and grooms of temperate climes
In gardens bearing pleasant fruit
May have their paths with lilacs strewn
Where jealousy and pain don't loot
Yet though my ways are thistle filled
Quite jagged and so often scorned
I'm glad the Lord appointed me
With passion flowers to be adorned.'

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