May by Jean L. Kreiling


(The Lilac)

The tiny lilac buds just barely bloom:
they affably unwink their pastel eyes
at brasher blossoms, emanating sighs
of self-assured but delicate perfume.
Reliable, requiring little care,
companionably clustered lilac flowers
attest to understatement’s heady powers,
as neatly gathered nuance fills the air.
And while the compact purple clouds expand
and multiply, their swoon-inducing scent
persuades a jaded world that it was meant
to bow before brief beauty’s mute command.
The lilac’s life of small perfections poses
a challenge rarely met by men or roses.

by Jean L. Kreiling, first published in 14 by 14Issue 11 (December 2009).

Editor’s Note: Just today my lilac shrubs finally bloomed and the sweet scent drifted across my back deck. The blooms will only last a little while, as this poem so perfectly states: “brief beauty’s mute command.”