Winter’s Garden

Dark Trees Reflected

In winter’s dark garden
light slants downward over trees,
small shrubs, waning life,
flickers into branches
illumining small patches of death,
withered leaves lurking under
the fringe of boxwood.

Meandering paths guide
feet to remote corners
shielding espaliered camellias’
gently colored edges
foreshadowing bloom unbelievable
in this cold time. They hang
like tightly bound Chinese feet
which would unfurl
if permitted
by the bonds of winter.

By the water, the late flowering
overblown, sulfur-yellow roses
linger against the wall,
resting on blistered paint
protected from wind
they have bloomed
next to decay.

Their unexpected presence startles
just as your unseasonable
appearance in my life
caused the early emergence
of intemperate spring.


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