NOTE: I wrote this when my oldest daughter was graduating from the University of Pittsburgh. Now her son is graduating from 8th grade. Oh, Life! Slow down, please. . . .
FOR MY DAUGHTER ON HER COLLEGE GRADUATION
For the world will not applaud, though its prizes, glittery honors,
dazzling futures, dangle like fat blue plums on faraway trees.
For every river you slog through, every rocky hill you climb,
what is attainable turns to dust in your hands, ashes in your mouth,
and the world merely shrugs its beefy shoulders, turns
the spotlight on the next moth dancing in its flame.
Instead, think of spring, daffodils and narcissus, tulips, azaleas,
that flower gorgeously for a few days, without any reason,
the April sky that draws over us its tender blue blanket,
the new grass green with infinite hope.
Consider, then, trees that burst into blossom: redbuds, dogwoods,
magnolias, such exuberant bloom, a carpet of petals strewn
on the sidewalks where you walked to class.
For the cold truth is, life on earth is hard, love rocky and thorny
and thistled, but spring is renewable, an eternal library book,
from the first shy glimpse of snowdrops, to the green and gold days
of forsythia sprawled on the lawn, to this grand finale of iris,
peony, poppy, this great commencement, this walk in the sun.
So may your roots find water, good earth, work to do. May you
blossom, lavish and profuse. Never forget that the heart is
a flower. Go and dance your hour on the lawn.
first appeared in The Literary Journal
©2018 Barbara Crooker
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