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Hydrastis Canadensis

Today's poem is Hydrastis Canadensis by Cathleen Miller. It is read by Mihku Paul.

Hydrastis Canadensis

I rounded the spruce
and crouched down
to peer at the ground
on a day so brilliant
I couldn’t even
go in for lunch.
I spotted your leaves
unfurling, small clusters
of yellow-tinged stems
crowned by tightly-pearled
white blossoms.
I gasped and exclaimed
oh, hi! as if I had
just bumped into
you on the street,
our hearts full
of the memories
of evenings spent
talking and laughing,
a sense of never having
left each other.

I spoke with such relief
that I had given you
enough despite
my hurried planting
last fall
on my knees
in the dark
not certain if
I would ever see
you bloom.
I worried that I had
chosen the wrong place
to sink you
into the earth.
I am always making
these mistakes, of course—
it is easy to long
for flowers
and find yourself barren,
the roots not taking hold.
The dirt seemed all wrong
but there by the birch
and huckleberries
you landed,
the wind promising
to fan away all moisture.

Suspended there under
the branches of birch—
the sparse serviceberry
blossoms punctuating
the air between us—
for that one moment,
I forgot all
my failures.