Elisabeth Murawski: “Tulips”


Each spring I wait
for these yellow
knock-outs to arrive

arrayed in threads
a king would envy,
their ground time brief.

After the storm,
each tulip’s less
cup than a blank eye

by Modigliani,
droops on its stem.
The surrounding grass

is fresher, greener
for the rain.
I who have been

so tenderly moved
by a communion
I am not worthy

to receive, realize
my fear: what gives me
so much joy

has been taken away.
The grieving
are advised to think

the dead remain
apartment dwellers
in the mind and heart

of love. I so want
to believe this,
in little hymns

to yellow tulips
too beautiful to live forever.
In torn, brave flags.

Elisabeth Murawski is the author of Heiress, Zorba’s Daughter, which won the May Swenson Poetry Award, Moon and Mercury, and three chapbooks. Still Life with Timex won the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize and has been published by Texas Review Press.

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