Tulip Tree

Remember the tulip tree out back next to the fence
And how it died?
Early one spring days bathed in heat of sinful sun
Sent premature encouragement
To evolutionary codes.
Merry buds opened joyously to blissful heat
Like virgins to true love.
The tree, umbrella of white,
Never reached full glory
Nor enjoyed balletic poise.
Late frost and freezing rains
Briefly preserved tender blooms under clear glaze,
Lovely but lifeless as works of art,
And then laid them blackened on icy ground.
True spring, anti-climactic
After gaudy débutante ball,
Followed with steady warmth and kinder touch,
Too late to quicken buds shocked by crystals
Sharp as tempered blades.
Spring in the North, incautious in coming,
Freezes in May as in December.
When regions between opposites do not exist
What ornamentation is possible?

With promise of warmth I too might open and bloom
But fearful of killing freeze I hesitate, safely embalmed,
While outside sly sun gleams though frilly clouds.
I wait too long to crack the fragile shell,
And summer swelters in with blazing rays direct from solar zenith,
Frying me sunny-side up on scorching walk.
Long-term, to avoid false-spring, black-blossom death,
I choose to stay inside the Northern me,
Kindling fires and stoking logs,
Shutting out the bite of cold,
Spurning the weak northern light.
Within my psychic greenhouse spectrum lamps
Radiate thought and spirit force.
Hothouse orchids bloom year-round,
Thriving in the fertile, dammed stew of warm liquid energy.
In the end I fear a black-white existence
That stunts spontaneous occurrence of beauty.
So I’ll stay safe and warm,
In my fecund steamy dorm,
Surrounded by the decorations
Of my infantile creations;
Common flora, plain and mild,
Banished to the polar wild.

Kristina K. Estebo

Kristina is a retired technical writer. She lives in Northeast Wisconsin. She has always wanted to write fiction and poetry but has not had time until now. She has been published in many technical journals but has yet to be published in a creative field. She lives alone in an old schoolhouse.

Last updated July 25, 2011