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Jan Chronister


I clip flesh
left after peony petals fall,
slice through iris stems
remove stalks and soggy beards,
wish them well until
I see them next spring.
Turgid lilies wait
for their moment, fill
space between June and August
with trumpets of orange, red
and white, a mid-summer
resurrection. Hostas raise
pennants, celebrate the Fourth.
I clear out ground around
echinacea and liatris,
last hope for color
before frost.
This is how I pray.
It is an easy faith
flowers never fail.


© by Jan Chronister.
Used with the author’s permission.


Jan Chronister, now retired from teaching writing, is the author of three full-length poetry collections and nine chapbooks; the latest are The Book of Eunice, about her mother, and Land of Cotton, Land of Snow, the fourth in her annual series of "year in review" chapbooks. Gardening keeps Jan "grounded", as she puts it, and often provides inspiration for her poems. Jan and her husband of 50+ years divide their time between far north Wisconsin and South Georgia.


Post New Comment:
Metaphor upon Metaphor. Lovely poem. Doris Bezio
Posted 09/17/2019 12:08 AM
Arlene Gay Levine:
From one gardener to another, spot on! A concise, fragrant blossom of a poem...
Posted 09/15/2019 07:40 PM
Richard Greene:
Jan understands what makes poetry work.
Posted 09/15/2019 09:06 AM
Posted 09/15/2019 08:33 AM
Yes, hostas, new to me, were perfectly painted.
Posted 09/15/2019 08:07 AM
Love the "hostas raise pennants." Wonderful poem, Jan. Marilyn Zelke Windau
Posted 09/15/2019 07:59 AM
Such a lovely poem--great use of personification!
Posted 09/15/2019 07:58 AM
michael escoubas:
Like your colors, internal rhyme and keen life-insights, Jan. Very nice poem.
Posted 09/15/2019 07:43 AM
Jean Colonomos-1:
A beautiful prayer.
Posted 09/15/2019 06:59 AM
Larry Schug:
A very nice "almost haiku" at the end!
Posted 09/15/2019 06:38 AM

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