Lily of the valley sweetened childhood, the way
it hid in green under our apple tree—green leaves
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 younggirl’s toes and tickling her nose wherever she goes.
For my prompt
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