Today is the first day I remember growing roses.
There is something about morning, damp with moisture
just cool enough to create a sultry haze, but warm enough to draw scent from primroses.
The cusp of summer heat burns moth holes at the bottom edge of spring's eggshell drawings:
it's not quite spring and not quite summer. A beetle attempts a long crossing across
two lanes of auto traffic and two lanes of bicycle traffic.
I wonder how it knows its way to the other side.
Just Spring creates a transcendence, a northern tropical jungle so lush
that I duck beneath dewy canopies of jade leaves and curl around
delicate, beveled roses and dewy lilies of France. Why should I ever find my way out?
I am instantly transported to my youth: park-like shade, flower smells and bettles,
mulchy undergrowth begging a finger dip or black toe-nail curl.
Red bricks line the sidewalks in irregular elevations, each a bird
with its own version of due-North. Today is the first day I am reminded
of growing strawberries, the vines tangled and the berries not there,
A tiny shoot of water sprinkles the birth tree, the black dirt, the creepers.
I am most at home here with the aphids, just humming
away. The Japanese maples, green, fanning delicate feathers
across arched doorways and wooden portholes:
a red-orange bloom, still lounging in the pot.
Rarely does the red-breasted nuthatch cross the
lane so casually.
An ochre yellow house across the street reflects Italian summers.
Red roses flagrantly mock black latticed windows and stucco,
stark, standing, startled awake: a kind of history worth saving.
I remember growing roses.