Heirlooms

 

The Fourth of July roses
hang from my father’s arbor.
Sweet apple first, then ruffles red and white,
with buttery bean sprout centers.

Worn linen petals flutter, flutter
and wave welcome, inviting one last look–before
their canes are frost-filled streams,
and hips are bird-picked clean.

On each visit we tarry, tarry
at the trellis.  He admires how far they’ve grown,
awaits the inches left, touches
green tenderly, turns

and asks again,
aren’t they something?

As if I hadn’t heard him on all those previous visits–
as if I didn’t understand what he was saying to me–
as if in the gloaming summer fade I had
somehow missed

the flicker in his eyes–
when he snipped
then passed on
that pinwheel jewel–as if

in his eighty-year-old hand,
I couldn’t see
his mother’s crooked finger.

First published in Cirque-A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim.  Vol. 4, No. 2. Summer Solstice 2013

 

4th of July Roses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s