HIBISCUS

It takes faith to coax a plant

from root to bloom. And

the gardener is a believer.

Working the soil, he replenishes

missing nutrients, creates a fertile bed

before a single shoot appears.

In his mind’s eye, he sees the white

trumpet-shaped petals long before

the woody stalk begins its ascent.

All summer long, he tends cascading

wisteria, showy dinner plate dahlias

blasting out flugelhorns of color

patiently waiting for that time near

summer’s end when the virginal blossom

with fuchsia center opens—

shimmers in the morning sunlight

only to close and drop at sunset.

All he invests in that single blossom

carries with it the weight and

significance of a solitary moment.

Next door, a long-awaited baby

was born. The years and months

leading to her birth was spent

envisioning  a family of two

becoming three. But the dream

fulfilled lasted two short months

obliterated—

by an anonymous truck driver

who took this new mother in full bloom

plucked her from her own abundant garden

and dropped her hard to the ground.

Like the gardener who anticipates the

future we, too, need to believe in plans

despite uncertainty in the cycle of seasons

 


Jan Marin Tramontano has published three poetry chapbooks, Woman Sitting in a Café and other poems of Paris, Floating Islands: New and Collected Poems, and Paternal Nocturne, in addition t her father’s memoir, I Am a Fortunate Man. Her poems also appear in her poetry collective’s anthology, Java Wednesdays. and Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Peer Glass Review.  Standing on the Corner of Lost and Foundis her first novel. She belongs to the International Women’s Writers Guild, served on the board and as program chair of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild, and is a member of Poets House and the American Academy of Poets.