Here’s another ekphrastic poem from me (a poem that has a conversation with a painting), based on the Mackintosh watercolor mentioned below, but also on the peonies in my own Pennsylvania garden. Right now, it’s early April and still snowing. But I have faith that May will come, and with it, these gorgeous flowers.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1920
watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper
The peony on the left speaks:
So what if my leaves are starting
to droop, and my stems have turned
the yellow of old newsprint? True,
I’m stuck in a vase, but I’m saved
from the vagaries of wind and weather.
Hail’s sharp comments can no longer
cut, and sun’s hot stare can’t wilt
my blooms. No sudden storm
will drench my petticoats,
drag them in the dirt, and ants can’t
have their way with me, caressing
where they will. Now
I’m in full array; my perfume
colors the air, trailing ribbons
and silk scarves. I’m an implosion
of ruffles, a can-can dancer
at the Folies Bergère.
Tomorrow, my petals will litter
the table. But today, it’s May,
and the cafés are open. Let’s sit
in the sun and drink kir royales.
You know you want to touch me.
I know I want to dance.
first published in Poetry Monday
©2018 Barbara Crooker
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