Standing with the Narcissi/Beth Kephart Poem

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I have denied the dahlias their second season,
leaving their fretwork earthed in for the winter,
their prospects overcome by white ice.


Beneath the lilacs, in the tulip bed,
the gnawing hunger of the mole,
and in the crush of azalea nearest the house,
proof of the deer that came in the season
of my insomnia and flared the window
With its stoked breath.  This leaves


the burden of forgiveness on the red ranunculus
and also the heather, dug in yesterday,
as also the yellow broom that sweeps the teeth
of the iris you sent to me in a box from California,
marked Yours. The burden of living forward
stands with the narcissi.  The burden of truth
with the bleeding heart beside
the shaft of wintered grasses.

3 comments:

Lilian Nattel said...

I can see it, Beth, and feel it.

Melissa said...

Oh, I just love this ... the last two lines, especially.

Holly said...

"teeth" not cruel or sharp, then? that's new to me, and i like that it makes me think this new thing. though i'm remembering a line from a poem: "it certainly wasn't the roses' teeth..."

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