"Her Wisteria" by Pamela Harrison
Beside our house, visible from the table
Mother set for all our breakfasts,
stood a stone fountain whose barefoot girl
waited to fill her urn within the shelter
of an over-growing vine—wisteria’s
gnarled wood my father pruned each March
to spur the growth of pendant flowers and make
a fragrant bower for my mother. Lavender
haloed the maiden’s head as she leaned dreaming,
chin upon her hand, and the over-flowing water fell
into a scalloped pool where songbirds flew
to slake their thirst all summer long.
and the empty unsprung fields are raked
by winds that slick the roads.
March, the month of Mother’s birth,
on the very day the earth’s vernal scale
comes briefly to rest, balancing
the shortened night with lengthened day. In this pause,
when the land lies in its breathless trance,
the starving spirit longs for the season’s turn.
Pamela Harrison reads "Her Wisteria"