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Tuesday, March 09, 2021


by Ellen White Rook

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Maggie at The Magical, Magnificent, Miraculous Amaryllis Journey.

on the one-year anniversary of the last time I got dressed up

In this country,
there is no minister for loneliness.
We make do with general anxiety.
The wind, loose, plucks
the last pinecones and builds
horizontal crowns across the snow.
After this year of quizzical
breath and fingers pressed 
against glass walls, houseplants 
are overgrown from too much care: 
Ivies overthrow terracotta 
and aloe spikes weave 
through jades.
An amaryllis 
that hasn’t bloomed in years,
this week leapt a green arc from its nest 
of tiny stones. The thumb-bud aims 
precisely where the sun comes up
even though I turn the pot
each morning and some days, 
the sky stays winter pale. 
The red sepals unfold
precisely the shade
of that last lipstick smile.

Ellen White Rook is a poet and teacher of contemplative arts residing in upstate New York and southern Maine. In the pre-COVID-19 world, she offered workshops on Japanese flower arranging and led day-long Sit, Walk, Write retreats that merge meditation, movement, and writing. In 2021, you can find her on Zoom. Although a senior citizen, Ellen is a recent graduate from the Master of Fine Arts program at Lindenwood University. Her work has been published in Montana Mouthful and Trolley Literary Journal.