John Amen The 2River View, 5.4 (Summer 2001)

Ghosts of Spring

The day the dogwood blooms,
my own soil erupts with withered vine,
leaves as brittle as an ancient scroll.

In the heart of the rose,
my mother is dying,
each unfurling petal
cradling in its red palm
her last muffled scream.

My father convulses
in the stamen of the iris.

Each year kudzu rampages,
wielding its spear of breath,
its infallible verse,
the death rattle of my elders.

The monster of May
shakes its fragile crib,
learns to walk
in the gauntlet of the dead.

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2River All is well.