THE PERSISTENCE OF LILIES

Jean L. Kreiling

Though winter lingers, it cannot infect these blooms;
the sorcery of spring will resurrect these blooms.

Green sprouts erupt to claim dauntless vitality,
buds take the dare, and soon we can expect these blooms.

While summer’s hot breath enervates our tender limbs,
its fevered ministrations will perfect these blooms.

The gardener hardly matters; he trims browning leaves,
but knows that he could just as well neglect these blooms.

The tiger orange and the Stella d’Oro yellow
still blaze if he does nothing to protect these blooms.

The sun instructs the petals in persistent brilliance.
The garden pest holds back—does it respect these blooms?

Immune to our rapacity, they bear no grudge;
they rise again when we cut and collect these blooms.

 

JEAN L. KREILING is the author of the recently published collection, The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books, 2014).  Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies.  Kreiling is a past winner of the String Poet Prize and the Able Muse Write Prize, and she has been a finalist for the Frost Farm Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award.