Friday, June 13, 2014

Flower for the Day Peony 3 6-13-14

          Peonies  by Jeanne Lohman
Grandma called them pineys, and I don't know why.They smelled so good, the full lush petals
crowded thick, the whole flower heavy on its stem, the leaves dark and rich as shade in Chatauqua Woods where each spring I hunted for violets.
What could there be to pine for on this earth? Now I think maybe it was Missouri                 she missed, and maybe that was what somebody she knew called peonies there, before she travelled to Ohio,                           a sixteen year old bride whose children came on as fast as field crops and housework.
Her flowers saved her, the way they came up year after year and with only a bit of care
lived tender and pretty, each kind surprising,  
keeping its own sweet secret: lily-of-the-valley, iris, the feathery leaved cosmos, lilacs in their white and purple curls,                         flamboyant sweet peas and zinnias, the bright four o'clocks and delphinium, blue as her eyes, and the soft peony flowers                       edged deep pink.
                   In her next lifetime I want my grandmother to walk                           slowly through the gardens in England and Kyoto.                            I want to be there when she recognizes the flowers                             and smiles, when she kneels and takes the pineys in 
             her hands.

                             Copyright Jeanne Lohman                                from Calls from a Lighted                               House
                             Fifthian Press  2007

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