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Geranium 

A Poem by Kate Northrop

Kate Northrop is a contemporary poet, has published two books of poetry and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming.
 

 

 

 
 
  How can you stand itólooking at things?
For example, the geranium

out on the patio, the single pink
blossom in the sun? Or stand the sunlight
moving through it,

illuminating, holding the flower open like a high
clear note, an ecstatic
widening

which arrives, arrives. What
do you do with it? While the shrubs and the lowest
overhanging leaves

lift slightly in the wind, the blossom
                                                                                                           
Camille Monet on a Garden  Bench by Claude Monet 1873
doesn't move. It's the object
of affection, and this is how
it hurts you:

by holding the note openó

Past the front of the apartment, traffic goes by:
one truck, then another

comes on, disappears. And I have

the blossom in my visionó
sunlight, like vision,
making clear the tiniest

hidden veins. I don't know why
I should be here, alive

and having to see this, this bright thing
living in time

or have to see it later, at the end
of the afternoon, when the sun's

lower, its light diagonal across the pot,
its light then pulling away
across the mossed brick

like a wave, only slower,
slower. The blossom is still pink,
but no longer

brilliant. I'll go back
into the kitchen. But you, are you stronger than I? Can you
stay in love with it? Make promises,

marry it?

Are you so sure
of your position in the world?
 

   


 


 

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