Julie Martin, USA
In the middle of June, running
my fingers through the tangled vines
of the potted Calibrochoa,
velvety trumpets of blossoms fanfare
in a cascade of purple-violet-wine petals
that decrescendo into midnight black centers.
Long-stemmed, the tendrils intertwine,
sinuous curls writhe.
As I comb the unruly hair of this daughter I never had,
I explain that pixies tie knots in your hair while you sleep,
whisper incantations in your ears, invite birds to nest.
Constantly working, my fingers twine
through the maze seeking desiccated, shriveled blooms
to snap off, making room for new growth.
One of these deadheads vibrates under my touch
and when I spread it in my hand, I find
chocolate-brown, cinnamon wings,
two bright bands of yellow across the abdomen,
no longer camouflaged amongst spent flowers.
It thrums and vibrates, sending pulsations up my arm
until I am bewitched.
I watch as it rises up, coiling proboscis,
flutter of wings, until all that is left on my palm
is a trace of its longing for nectar.
A poet and a public school teacher, Julie Martin lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband and two teenage sons. Her poetry has appeared in Alpha Female Society, In Want of Jasmine, Ancient Paths Literary Journal, The Poetry Super Highway, Pasque Petals and Dreamers Creative Writing. Visit her website here: https://sphinxmothrising.blogspot.com