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Bones

Poinsettias in March

By Barbara Cutko | Posted 2/20/2002

Tenacious sisters
Hugging at the window,
Fading beauties
Tired on withered stalks,
You were eager cuttings
In the springtime, slashed
From winter's worn-out
Ladies stashed
With rinds and peelings
On the garden's
Compost heap.
Ah, what lineage you boast,
The queens of winter solstice
Festive in the season of rejoicing.
To you I raise a toast:
Long live radiance of spirit! Long live courage facing one's demise!
Do not despise
Your fate with worms
And decomposing salad waste.
Know that in your wizened veins
Wait daughters who will grace
This windowsill
As winters ebb
Into each spring until
These gnarling fingers tire
Like your spent branches
And become once more
The fertile earth
And universe.

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