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Calla Lilly

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Calla Lilly

Bi Janus

You squatted by the fireplace,

a gift to Ann from work family.

We thought you a premie

unlikely to survive.

None of your kind

we seem able to nourish,

none of your kind

in our bright home flourish,

but we will tend you

with the uncertain terror,

with the rigorous care

attending uncertain life.

Then, the miracle.

You turned your insides out

in a profusion of white blossom,

little vulvae with yellow tongues,

perhaps an attempt

to say everything at once

unable to restrain your joy.

Visitors worshipped, awed

as Magi once were.

The silence after that outburst

was more the calamity.

For eight years — only green,

healthy but only green leaves,

your silence in the face of our care

was grievous.

Today as I poured the water,

in the midst of the green,

the single white furl,

more shot through

with your pure voice

than the cacophony

of your infancy,

the whisper piercing us

through accustomed silence.

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