The Peony Returns
It always startles me after a hard winter
to see the purple sprouts above the dirt.
And they seem to always show up on a day
I least expect them. Valiant and stalwart
as a sentry at dawn, this Peony has seen
ten springs. Always eager, it inches up
as the air warms and the rains soak it. My
water-filled eyes shine with the early buds.
Every fall as I cut dead stems back to ground
level, leaving only my memory of sweet-scented
melon-size blooms, I worry about her.
The deep purple scent of her blossoms
are taken inside the house for weeks,
then to work where friends marvel,
push noses into soft ruffles, their faces
refreshed with the wonder of such beauty.
And so it begins again this spring, as soft
mornings surround her with birdsong.
The resident robin resting nearby waiting
for the first burst of color, a ways off
yet, but like me he is anxious for a look.
We meet each morning as I walk to my car,
check the Peony’s growth, note the leaves
darkening with strength and catch the robin
sitting quietly on the stair railing. “She’s good,”
I say as we eye each other. Backing out of
the driveway, I notice the robin has moved.
He’s on the ledge now just above the Peony,
and I can hear him singing joyously. Maybe his
song is why the Peony returns each spring.
© Nancy Powell 2015
Nancy Powell’s work has appeared in Kalliope, Black Water Review, BlueLine, Virginia Adversaria, The Beacon, Skipping Stones, Sweet Bay Review and has poems in the anthology, The Light In Ordinary Things. Her first poetry collection, How Far Is Ordinary, was published by MindWorm Press in 2007 and is available from her website and Amazon. Her second collection, The Blackbirds Tell Stories, is forthcoming this month, April 2015 from San Francisco Bay Press, http://sanfranciscobaypress.com . She is a past president and executive council member of the Poetry Society of Virginia, chaired both the PSV Student Poetry Contest newsletter for a number of years. Ms. Powell is a member of The National Association of American Pen Women. She is a visiting editor for Poetica Magazine. She has lived in England and Australia, and has traveled throughout Europe, parts of Asia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. More information: www.nancypowell.us