Camellia in winter

February 17, 2012

Camellias always remind me of the night I got married.
They take me queasily back
to my 21-year-old naïveté,
when I threw myself away in a desperate gamble
for holiness.
I remember that when it turned out
we didn’t have enough camellias for the tables,
my dear women ran out
into the frosty Tokyo evening
and stole some from the neighbors’ bushes.
That act of love burns like a flame,
softening the memory of that lovely night
when I made such a ghastly mistake.

I’m ready to just appreciate camellias again.
Ready to admire their waxy petals, to applaud
their fierce constitutions,
and to forgive that young girl
with the white flowers of surrender in her hair.
I know now
she won’t wear them forever.

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2 Responses to “Camellia in winter”

  1. Molly said

    Beautiful, Anna. We just planted two red camellias…

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