Wisteria

 

My peoples and I are headed out of town this Sunday for a little communion with mighty Ozark mountains, so I will miss a Monday post this week, and will instead leave you with this little ode to my favorite spring bloom and her unrepressed Big Love.

 

Wisteria, you indiscriminate springtime slattern,

throwing yourself at the most wanton vacant parking lots

bottlesdiaperscigarettes strewn among the weeds

concrete busted in places

Or against the sagging telephone wires, threaded through dead trees

A tangle of barren brown branches no one cares about enough to prune.

 

Here is where you stretch yourself out, long and luxurious?

Here is where you bloom, all those fecund floral grapes dangling?

Like Bacchus himself had partied a little too hard

On the wrong side of town

Is for the shock effect, like a rebellious teen, this display of poor taste?

Have a little pride! we want to shout.

Or maybe –

You and your jiggling purple petals not quite that vapid.

Flinging all that plummy glory around,

decorating the forgotten armpits of our city

as if to say, I stand with Pema Chodron:

Compassion is not our service to those on the margins,

but our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them.

 

Wisteria, magdalen blossom who reminds us of our better selves,

the indiscriminate self that doesn’t first size up,

the self that shares our best jokes with whoever comes along,

the self that looks for beauty everywhere, in every dandelion-filled driveway

because we’ve learned the hard way that

it all matters.

All of it.

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