in a variety of colors, its blooms
surprisingly easy to grow
in dappled shade, partial sun
zones 3 to 9, best for show.
Until its second season,
this biennial will not flower.
Letting nature take its course,
fall-planted seeds eventually shower.
Meadows, woodlands, high altitudes
clinging to rocks up to 10,000 feet
where rugged mountain climbs
offer a trailside alpine treat.
Spurred petals of diversity
ever-changing cell shape
not by size, nor in number
morphological evolution make.
By indigenous Americans eaten
with other fresh greens, as condiment,
safe when consumed in quantities small,
very sweet and heaven-sent.
Those who enjoy over extended time
are transformed by medical cure.
Those who quickly devour,
its toxins cannot endure.
Aquilegia, for the eagle’s claw.
Columbine, Latin for “dove”.
Of the buttercup family, sadly,
symbolic of deceitful love.
Though these flowers, symbols
of ingratitude, faithlessness be,
they appear gentle, lovely
and ever-so hopeful to me.
Whether it clings to hillsides
catching rays of mid-day sun
or dances with garden breeze
enjoying its wind-blown fun,
it embraces life’s hope
through nurturing soil it finds
and blossoms brightly in sun,
this Columbine of God’s design.
© Joy Mar 2015
Southern-born, Joy now makes her home in New England. Her poems explore the many facets of life, including her and broader humanity’s place and challenges within it.