Garden of Romance

A Soldier's Wife at Magnolia
Stacy Pratt,Watertown, NY

I wander through the winding paths
as if on turning I might find
the form belov├ęd of my heart,
the voice most pleasing to my mind.
Azaleas of the early spring
like hope appear 'round every bend,
and orchids under shelt'ring glass
lose no bright petals to the wind.
But though I pass 'neath hanging moss,
though I admire the trailing rose,
my longing knows no recompense,
my aching soul finds no repose.
Until around a bend I find
a single solitary bloom
upraised upon its brave, bare stalk,
embracing life among the gloom
Its valiant hope I recognize,
as war has tangled over me
like vines of writhing cottonmouths
in branches of a cypress tree.
But thee and I, o flower, reach
audacious petals to the sky,
and spring and summer bear us out
in gardens we are nourished by.
Like seeds, our hearts may fall to earth
and burrow down beneath the loam,
but warmer seasons bring rebirth
and bring the sun and soldier home.