Only a short walk one she knows well
one taken each year opening the sliding door
she leaves behind her mind’s chatter
steps into the courtyard picking her way
across half-buried slabs of stone
to the path of moss-lined bricks that hugs
the corner of the house and leads
to one particular patch of the garden
with its bare canes of black raspberry
the winter remains of daylilies
a few stray stalks of peonies waving
above a field of dried stubble.
She kneels in the cushion of ivy
a strata of vines laid down over decades.
In the corner of her eye she catches a glimpse
of the tell-tale white of early bloodroot
its flower still bound tightly but this
is not the sign she seeks.
Just in front of her bowed head a mound
of brittle brown leaves left over
from autumn’s drift and caught
in the tangled debris. Her hand knows
to brush a few of them aside
her quick intake of breath a herald
for there they are these acolytes of spring
these clusters of fleshy green sedum buds
huddled as though to give each other strength
each one a bundle of succulent leaves
each year somehow knowing how
to make their way toward the light.
Melissa Huff has returned to an early love of writing after fifteen years immersed in making one-of-a-kind jewelry. She has won awards for both formal poetry and free verse. Her publishing credits include River Poets Journal, Glass: Facets of Poetry and Winterwolf Press and she currently serves as secretary of the Illinois State Poetry Society.
© 2018, Melissa Huff
One comment on “Pilgrimage, Early March, by Melissa Huff”