Give and Take

by Tracy Thompson

Forsythia opens the show,
bursting slicker yellow and bowing out just in time for the main act.
Single-stemmed tulips and daffs, delicate Japanese maples in their cabernet kimonos. Magnolia trees this far north.
63,000 dead.
Dandelions refusing to be directed.
Cherry blossoms, dogwoods, crab apples, red maples,
highbush cranberry, white birch.
Weeping willow needs no introduction.
82,000 dead.
Hardy hosta appearing from nothing, resumes its place on the property line, unfurling verdant.
Azalea’s choreographed opening number, making their entrance like the Rockettes, colors that only belong in nature, stunning.
Lilies of the valley humbled by the showgirls, but sure of their beauty still,
apologize for taking up space.
Lilac provides the fragrant encore,
making a brief appearance to usher in the summer stock.
100,000 dead.
And counting.



Tracy L. Thompson, a resident of Schenectady, NY, writes from her dining room table while her dogs beg for her attention. She is a member of the Poets of Pyramid Lake, and hopes to return to continue honing her craft when the world re-opens. Her poem, One Does Not Love Breathing, is slated for publication by Welter in celebration of this, their 55th year. She is currently working on a novel, Where You’ll Find Me. Liz Baron is an artist and restaurateur who lives in Texas by way of New York City. She and her husband, Jim, founded, own and operate four Mexican-Southwestern restaurants. She got her Bachelor of Fine Art from Pratt Institute but stopped painting when restaurant work and family life consumed most of her time. She is grateful to the online art classes of Sketchbook Skool that helped her regain the joy of a regular art practice

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