Lilies: Love’s Opening
a long weekend in Clonakilty and a bunch of lilies rekindles memories and fosters love
At the florist’s in Clonakilty,
“Oriental lilies,” she said.
They’re the only kind that’ll open
in Ireland; like those inked glories
Olga gave to me in Paris.
They bloomed in no time madly –
Showed she loved me without tariff.”
A bunch is scented, selected, bought.
“Let’s see how these behave this week.”
She plants them closed in a teapot
Love’s pale green hopes:
Feeds them water,
More; first waking thin clitorises
Pushing showed through the whitening
Hoods darkly – “It begins, she says,
The revelation of life’s glory”–
Unrooted stems still thickening,
Echoes of a mother’s memory
Feeding this second fleeting sprouting
Past death as resurgent daughters.
Moon’s measure passing increases
The opening – the subtle unfolding –
Which lazy days and peat fires burning
Cannot halt. This second birth’s needs
Need just as much as the first – reeds
Dried, petals failing she nurtures,
then in raptures
This Lazarean bloom explodes,
Each bud, even the last stubborn two,
Of itself incarnate, arched unfolds
A proclamation of true love,
And I, in wonder, look upon them and her.