Geraniums Poem by Arthur L Heifetz


You’re 65 and tired beyond all measure.
In the desert of your lassitude
Your last drop of vitality
Has drained away,
Your vibrant years all stacked behind you,
The dull ones stretching out ahead
In a tedious dead-end road.

Then you notice the geranium
Sitting on the bedroom sill.
Taken in too late,
Its stems mostly pulp now,
Its clay pot covered with mold,
It has unexpectedly
Produced a leaf.
You examine its network of
Intricate, dark veins
Branching out like tiny trees,
The faint ring around its center
Like the one the children used to leave
After their nightly bath,
And at the end of a corkscrew vine,
Two pregnant buds,
Drooping with the weight of the flower
Tucked inside like a secret
Concealed all winter long
And now ready to burst forth,
Five petals unfolding rapidly
In staccato bursts of crimson red
Shocking against the cold-steel sky.

Cautiously, you cut the stem
And place it in a jar of water.
Left in the hazy April sun,
By the kitchen window,
It generates as if by conjury
A tangled ball of silky roots.
When finally you plant it in the loamy soil
You can feel the stirring in your heart
Of fresh, new life
As if an old, discarded dream
Had suddenly come to fruition.

Retired State Farm insurance agent returning to his first love poetry.
Beginning to submit work at friends’ urging. 11 poems published since

Here is another poem:

Our Room In Hvar

From our bed in Hvar,
Scented with silk bags
Of crushed lavender,
You can discern
A pot of red geraniums
Balanced on a white marble slab
Below a thin blue band
Of Adriatic Sea
A composition
Worthy of Matisse
Your portrait is more Byzantine:
Black hair splayed against the pillow,
Flecked with gold Venetian light,
You are a venerated icon
Cloistered in memory
And I a faithful pilgrim,
Lips pressed against your cheek
Praying that this morning
Lasts forever.