by Anna Remennik

Spring 2023

I give myself permission to be happy –
or if not happy — because what is
happiness in a world of war, flood, blight –
permission to contemplate the soft dappled
sunlight on the battered cherry trees
along the walk to the hospital, white
with bedraggled flowers since the last big storm.
I give myself permission to lie fallow,
waiting for disrupted rhizomes to knit
into networks again, dormant in thawing earth.
I give myself permission to follow
meaningless tendrils of numbers, flit
from one bright ephemeral form to another, and trust
that something germinating below will
pierce through the irrigated topsoil, thrust
unexpected green arrows sun-ward, until
it blossoms into cornflower-blue, daffodil-yellow mirth.

***

Nine of Pentacles

The grapes have ripened in the sun
To dusty garnet. Fan-shaped leaves
Tremble like paper. Round the eaves,
Vines curl their tendrils. Harvest’s done.

The jewels are cut. The silk is spun.
The hooded hawk rests on her perch.
Whatever drives the heart to search
For better fortunes is at peace.

Here, riches calve, old wines increase
In fame and flavor in their casks.
A steady hand tends to all tasks
In their due time, without surcease.

Here, all is comfort. Pampered earth
Yields bounty to the outstretched hand;
Delivers, to a soft command,
Full profits of the highest worth:
Prosperity, and warmth, and ease.

“Nine of Pentacles” was originally published in ev0ke, November 2023

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