Richard Harteis

The Amaryllis

pushes it green tongue
through the brown earth
to speak of possiblities.

Outside the rocks are
blue with winter still,
and squirrels chip away
at the fountain's ice.

Soon the plant will shoot
to an obscure green rod
engorged with water and light,
curving up to a bulbous head that
sways gently to follow the sun.

I know the drill, I
watched it like a mongoose,
celibate, all Lent long last year
until the naked pole erupted slow-
motion into crimson flower
proclaiming spring, and vitality
and my loneliness.