I adore the swelling of the red idea
that tempts phlox to form a four-petalled
promenade into the days of June, days of July.

Eyes’ hunger embraces, gobbles heady
respite from vulgar sidewalk safety
I otherwise consent to.

Steal myself away on unpainted days
into marriages senses insist on.
Ditch-water a chilly sweetheart

these sweat-beaded afternoons I live through —
jagged, wearing the unforgiving sleeves
of sun. I’m not finished

in the welcome glut of pages with no
particular alphabet. Ferny language
flutters in, I think plants must be

cousins to the birds, they don’t know
to flinch from meaning, don’t purposely
seclude themselves in tenderness

or spread the balm of self-pity on frond
and feather, avoid wind, cower from
rain. I want to know that

my skin will survive battering, I want
to climb over the railing, those wind poppies,
those mariposa tulips don’t grow tame.

By Grace Marie Grafton

woman is standing in the doorway looking at the garden

Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six collections of poetry, which can be reviewed on Amazon’s site. Grafton_Whimsey_CoverShe lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a redwood tree outside her kitchen door and a native live oak next to her deck. Nearby are red squirrels, raccoons, salamanders, and (never seen) mountain lions. Other of her nature poems can be found in Canary (online), Peacock Journal (online), Third Wednesday, Poecology and The Common Ground Review. Her book, Whimsy, Reticence and Laud: unruly sonnets, is rooted in her love of nature. She has taught for decades with CA Poets in the Schools, frequently taking her grade school students outdoors for their poetry lessons.

Photo of woman at the door by loganban

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