(The prompt this morning was to write a poem on instruction, but the idea for this piece had been puttering around in my head since yesterday morning. Maybe one day I’ll learn to follow instructions!)

The trees moan with rolling breezes.
Their arthritic, gnarled knuckles strain
to open, waiting to balance springtime blooms on fingertips.

My grandmother’s hands, in her December,
are much the same. Yesterday, she turned 94.
We held our breath while lighting cake candles
lest the sudden whoosh of warm air

shift the vernal with the autumnal, bring
persons who will paint roses on her cheeks
and place lilies in her hands.

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