23 May 2017

The Lilies of Childhood

MuguetDesBois.jpg
Source


Lily of the valley sweetened childhood, the way
it hid in green under our apple tree—green leaves
Source
that dwarfed it but could not overtake its love scent.

I would pull single stems smoothly from protective
cover and crush their tiny white flowers to line
my pockets where their light could speed the dark school day.

Lilacs would, too, but they didn’t last—neither crushed
nor whole—and they hung proudly in spectator's view
rather than shy away their talents like a twin.

At this end of my life, I buy new lily bulbs
to plant, not realizing those that thrived back then
were ancient souls who grew to encourage me.

I can’t make them grow now, nor could I then.  They must
volunteer, I suppose, after tasting a young
girl’s toes and tickling her nose wherever she goes.



For my prompt 


My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast


19 comments:

Sherry Marr said...

Sigh. How I adore this poem: especially that those long-ago blooms were "ancient souls who grew to encourage me". Love the idea of secreting blooms in your pocket to get you through the school day. And LOVE your closing lines! Wow!

Martin Kloess said...

This is so enchanting. I bet your memories are rich with flowers these.

Voo Voo said...

Sweet, touching write. so glad to find this

Thotpurge said...

after tasting a young
girl’s toes and tickling her nose wherever she goes.... there's a kind of resignation to the power of the lilies..and a longing...beautiful.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Better lilies of childhood than lies of childhood! Seriously, I love that fragrant little flower, although I haven't seen or smelled one in over 20 years. Thanks for taking me back closer to my own childhood! No lie!

gillena cox said...

Luv your sharing of these memories

Happy Wednesday

Much love...

annell said...

I adore it too! What gifts they are!

indybev said...


Those flowers that had the "ancient souls" have been propagated and variegated until the seeds or bulbs today produce flowers that are never quite the same. Your poem soothed my soul!

Myrna R. said...

Sweet, fragrant memories. I like this sharing of the flowers which, like old souls, supported and guided you. Lovely thoughts.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Oh this is so incredibly poignant!❤️ Especially love; "I would pull single stems smoothly from protective cover and crush their tiny white flowers to line my pockets where their light could speed the dark school day."❤️

brief-life-span said...

I too, am a child of lillies of the valley memory. This rang soft bells of recall and a smile to my day.

Elizabeth

Old Egg said...

There is something quite magical in the way you wrote this Susan, giving such mischievous personalities to flowers too.

Truedessa said...

The Lily of the valley reminds me of my grandmother's house and my childhood. Thank you for this today!

rallentanda said...

Your prompt has inspired a lot of poems about childhood.Beautifully expressed tinged with a little sadness.

Jae Rose said...

The magic of imagination shines here - i too remember crushing up petals and exploring the world..thankfully school was more light than dark though

Khaya Ronkainen said...

A nostalgic and soothing piece. I can almost smell the lovely scent!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, that's absolutely delightful! I love the idea of them volunteering, so as to encourage a child they liked.

kaykuala said...

after tasting a young
girl’s toes and tickling
her nose wherever she goes.

How they loved to be caressed by the little toes of innocents and emit the expected fragrance! They were alive!

Hank

Nicholas V said...

Delicate and beautiful poem just like the fragrance of the flowers you describe, Susan...