Thursday, April 22, 2010

Violet Season

It’s the violets, though, that amaze. I have transplanted them from the hot, sunny side of the front yard, where they grew among the patchy grass we found here on the “sunny side of the street” when we moved in five years ago. In most places these transplants take right away. In the thin-soiled root-world beneath the canopy of the maple tree, however, they came up disappointingly skinny and short on flowers last year. But this year they are making a show.
Some of these plants will struggle. Some will disappear. Some will persist, carrying on from year to year, dying back to almost nothing in their down seasons, then suddenly shooting up in a favored spring.
Let this be the favored spring for the under-tree violets!
We will forget thee, oh humble violet! when your blossom is long gone and you edge into other territories, just another green leafy colonizer, another root to feed, among so many. We will cut you back. We will even uproot you – some of you – then, to make space for the later arrivals.
But this month you light your fires in dull and ordinary places.
Dark blue, white, and purple-flecked violets from previous transplantings are also blooming all over the back garden and on the side of the house.
Violets: a poem

This changeable month
You light your white and purple fires
In ordinary hearts