The Lenten Rose

Charles Portolano, editor of The Avocet, has kindly included my poem, “The Lenten Rose” in The Weekly Avocet number 229.  The Avocet is completely devoted to poetry about nature.

I wrote “The Lenten Rose” during NaPoWriMo 2016.  That April was a colder, wetter one than April in 2017.  I love these flowers, which I first met while living in Athens, West Virginia. When walking home from  Concord United Methodist Church in early spring I looked for crocuses.  One day a light snow had fallen earlier.  I walked across  our yard, looking for yellow and purple petals.  I found none but almost stumbled upon a Lenten Rose, a beautiful surprise.  That encounter inspired this poem. Thank you, Charles.

The Lenten Rose


Not everyone sees
the Lenten rose
unobtrusive
beside the
fallow garden,
a creamy teacup
staunch
against spring’s onslaughts.
Wet snow meets
open milk mouth.
Sturdy sepals hold
purple veins
in liturgical shades.
Lent’s privations
are passing.
Go outside.
If you see a rose
your spring is here.

first published in Weekly Avocet, #229, April 30, 2017.

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