with mocha filling and chocolate-almond filling and deep Hershey's cocoa. A tray full of pansies: saffron and purple, peach and deep plum, bright sunny yellow and icy lilac, the yellow finches, the bluebirds, the colors as seen through some embroidered sheers and a big plan for a big celebration. Things are excellent and soon the parents arrive! I cannot wait.
Now off to buy white violets and back to Spring Break--but not before I pass out some pretty.
The Listening of Plants
On the buffet where she kept her celadon dishes,
Mother placed a vase of pussy willows
hurried out of their branches.
The buds were cat toes walking up a mottled branch,
miniature koalas hanging on their eucalyptus
in a scattered line.
I snapped one off the twig and rolled the bud
on the flats of my thumb and finger,
its smoky gray coat how I imagined koala fur might feel.
I rubbed the willow bud along the bone of my jaw
wanting to know how a plant can wear animal skin.
It was too small, like touching nothing.
I splayed my hand along its curves,
felt the hairs rise in the divot of my palm,
I would have needed a sweater of willow to be satisfied.
Instead I slipped it into my ear. How did I know
a pussy willow was the right shape for the foyer of my ear,
long hall leading to the eardrum and the bones behind?
The bud rested there and I listened,
wanting to hear what it had to say
which was quiet, which was the muted listening of plants.
When I asked Mother to extract a pussy willow
from my ear, I couldn't explain its presence
how I listened and heard its secret.
Copyright © 2011 Laura Shovan All rights reserved
from Mountain, Log, Salt, and Stone
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission