Thursday, January 3, 2013

"Flowers" by Linda Pastan

Oak Park Conservatory, Oak Park, Illinois 

The deep strangeness of
flowers in winter--

the orange of clivia,
or this creamy white rose

in its stoneware
vase, while outside

another white
like petals drifting down.

Is it real?
a visitor asks,

meaning the odd magenta
orchid on our sill

as makeup on a child.

It's freezing all around us--
salt cold on the lips,

the flinty blacks and grays
of January in any northern city,

and flowers

in the supermarket
by cans of juice,

filling the heated stalls
near the river--

secular lilies engorged
with scent,

notched tulips, crimson
and pink, ablaze

in the icy
corridors of winter.

"Flowers" by Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light© Norton, 2010

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