Planting Tulips


Urged on by coming darkness, shorter days,
we reenact old rites, kneel as supplicants
on the cold ground of November, plant
our small intentions which will in time
become silken flame, ruffled apricot,
a parrot-fringe of green and yellow as tulip bulbs
settle on their satin haunches. The moon’s tug
on the swaying hammock of ocean is no less
than the tides that suck at earth as we wait
for winter to lower her iron gate. The bulb,
like the blooded eye of the cold-slowed lizard
will keep vigil throughout the long night as will
the ruby, firefly, your own four-winged heart—
all forged in a collusion of stars, all adepts of that light.

Sharron Singleton