First Blossom

Rage Hezekiah

When I wake, the pink peony’s

golf ball buds are clenched fists—

reluctant. I water their base, tuck

stragglers into the thin wires

of tomato cage. Weeks ago

I gently wrestled each stem

with purpose. I would.

Anything misplaced

I’ll to try to control.

In a recovery meeting, I heard

I’m the problem. If I’m not

the problem, there’s no solution.

Birdsong overlaps and layers,

hermit thrush and eastern phoebe,

belted kingfisher. From the porch

I vaguely answer emails. Ants

peel for hours, march the stems

beckoning an opening. At dusk

I await my wife, splay a book across

my thighs amidst the bullfrog chorus.

The first blossom howls open—

a thick and fragrant affirmation

my own hands folded in my lap.

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