Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In Memory of Warren Starke (1939-1992)

The Vine

Spring, 1993

After the service, back at the house, 
someone asked about the vine 
on the front fence.

You remember, the one 
I always nagged you 
to dig up and out and gone 
because the thick dead trails 
of thin gray string made such a mess 
after the blooms stopped
and I was tired of cleaning the fence. 
You always refused, 
saying--approval in your voice-- 
the vine paid its way in blossom time.

Disinterested, I regarded 
the small flowers 
in the mass of crawling vine and 
tried to give it a name. 
I couldn't.
Later, someone exclaimed, 
"Look!  A hummingbird vine!" 
and moved to get a closer look. 
In the afterfuneral smalltalk, two visitors 
recalled childhood memories 
richly flavored with such a vine. 
To a chorus of startmesome, I promised.

Today, for the second year 
I've known the name, 
I pulled the gray tendrils off the fence 
and I thought of you.

And, with pleasure, I thought of 
the perfect, five-pointed blossoms
unpretentious scarlet stars
soon to appear
summer's bright red dots
punctuating the delicate, dark green traceries 
cascading, looping from post to post 
hiding the ugly wire fence. 

No comments:

Post a Comment