Saturday, July 13, 2013

A summer poem about my father


I have a photograph from my childhood
of my father, standing in his zinnia garden,
puffed-up and beaming, posing for the camera,
watering hose in hand, surrounded by bursts of color
like blossoms of fireworks he himself lit weeks earlier
in time-lapse, kneeling on the dirt, striking a match
by placing each seed ­underground,  slow fuses
brought to life as white-hot shoots – pushing skyward,
growing green in a thick tapestry of tall arcs, swelling,
opening finally in brilliant explosions of red, yellow, orange – even purple,
to detonate around him like a fourth-of-July celebration
of his skill in gardening them forth into the world:
for a brief moment forever he stands proud,
a pyrotechnic God among flowers.

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