Taking Stock At 65

These disastrous mornings
mortality swirls around me
Sister Maggi
cut to pieces at the Mayo
Sister Peggy on the coast
a virtual streamer
broken like a doll

Nothing like a wedding
to spice the family madness
The selfish son estranged
damaged by war
no less than the father

‘Tis cruel to give a flower
then pluck it back

Do not deceive yourselves:
The contemplative life
does not a contemplative make
You have to work at that

On these embattled mornings
flowers help
Tour the morning garden
in the lee of the solstice
A hundred perennials to greet
A multitude of colors set their roots
by beauty’s calendar

Early bulbs and wild flowers
take first bow

Trout lilies spread the ground
with mottled leaves
Lady slippers glimpsed
where least expected

Unforgettable forget-me-nots
drop violet stars in every bed
Across the stone embankment
pink phlox creeps
The deep hued columbine
rise like corn
on stalks of grape and magenta

And in the dooryard
lilacs bloom their therapies of perfume
to rival sweet rugosa rose
in powers of intoxication

On and on it goes
everyday an old friend newly found
and as we gain we lose

Remember this:
No fleeting flower
can slow the ticking clock
These flashes of forgetting
are but a steady keel
to steer the stormy days
There is no cure for life

                         Michael Uhl
                         July 2009
                         Walpole, Maine