Protea                                                                                                                   —Geraldine Connolly

Today begins in sunlight and blossoms.
A wing sweeps the desert.
Eggs boil on the stove.

Swords burst from plants.
I am still alive, surprised
at the rattle of the lampshade,

the knocking of eggs in the pot,
a constant drift of buttery blossoms
onto the patio where they're scattered

by lizards. All night, the star
above the rooftop shone like an idea.
Now it's gone. Only once have I seen

a mountain lion back-lit, moon-lit,
until she vanished into the forest
and became an absence on the night road.

From the remains of stars, new stars
arise. Helium deep in their cores
keeps them from collapsing.

We could so easily fold and die.
Protea: Three red and three yellow,
mutable, with corollas of silver.

Remind me to watch as something
luminous approaches, as something changes
before my startled eyes.

Geraldine Connolly is the author of three poetry collections: Food for the Winter, Province of Fire, and Hand of the Wind. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Shenandoah, The Gettysburg Review and The Cortland Review. She has been awarded two NEA fellowships, a Maryland Arts Council Fellowship and the Yeats Society of New York Poetry Prize. She has taught at the Writers Center in Bethesda, the Chautauqua Institute and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2016