What a dangerous business blossoming is.
The magnolias on Commonwealth Avenue
Came out this year, believing in the heat
Of an early spring.
I sat on the sunny stone steps all afternoon.
They were big ones, pink and white.
But the whip of winter
Cracked at its turning back—
Every one was withered by the frost,
A whole generation of magnolias
Burned out, as brown as paper bags.
Boston is hard
On those large and unsuspecting southern flowers.
We grow tougher each year. We learn
To keep our bloom from being wasted.
Ten years deep, the memory still burns,
the body cannot forget. Ah, my good friends,
I have come out a little more
Each year since then.
But so much still lies folded in the heart,
Obeying a winter wisdom that still says
Not yet! Not yet!
Copyright 2012 by Daniel Veach
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Ten Years of Winter