Inheritance

Do tulips still grow
in the back by the swings?
Last I saw, their clumps had expanded
over sixty-odd years
far past a grocer’s basket —
they turned the woods’ entrance
into a Holland market
at high season,
coloring the moss
with wild bunches
of pink, red, orange and yellow,
gleaming as the soft rays of sunlight
speckled their petals.
After their bloom,
the forest floor filled in,
hiding every trace
of their wild beauty.

I must go back
to see if they have survived
all those winters since,
to commune with them,
planted there
by generous, hopeful hands
so long ago
(for me, I now know,
it is true),

to dwell in their ancient secrets,
to learn them well,
to whisper them
to you.

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