You sprouted these Orange King Alstroemeria from seeds
twenty-five years ago.
Gently you placed them
between strata of moist paper towels,
and when shoots appeared
you poked them one by one into the soil.
They bloomed only once, and afterwards—

Now, after two successive springs
fluent in rain,
they’ve suddenly ripvanwinkled.
Many blossoms
pop up from the ivy ground cover
eager as fledglings
greeting a parent bird bearing morsels.

I’m so glad that alstroemeria know
how to alchemize leaden skies
into golden petals
without any help from us
because we’re far from nature’s most dependable friend,
and long after we’re gone, flowers will rise up
toward brightness and starlight
and the muck of puddles.

ZACK ROGOW is the author, editor, or translator of more than twenty books or plays. His ninth book of poems, Irreverent Litanies, was published by Regal House. He is also writing a series of plays about authors. The most recent of these, Colette Uncensored, had its first staged reading at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and ran in London, Barcelona, San Francisco, and Portland. His blog, Advice for Writers, features more than 250 posts on topics of interest to writers. He serves as a contributing editor of Catamaran Literary