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I Moved In and I Snapped

Today I have a poem for you with video and everything. At this time of year in Ontario the roadsides often give up beautiful wild flowers. One of my favourite varieties is the wild phlox you see pictured below. When I sat down to write today this poem pushed its way to the page and then, of course, I had to do a reading of it for you. Here is the link. If you want to read while you listen, scroll down.

I stopped by the side of the road today, the paved road and smooth, and stepped in my sandals into the ditch and over a weedy groove. The birdsong called and my nostrils flared to breathe in the wild phlox smell, and the sun beat down on my wintered skin and I knew all would be well.

Pink purple violet colours all grew in happy profusion, some white, and I reached out for Heaven at the end of my touch and felt my heart go light. But my brain clattered on–it ever stops to compare–and I thought how the flowers did grow, with ‘cockle shells’ and ‘merry bells’ dancing all in a row.

I picked a sprig and tiptoed back to reach for my phone in the car, and I flew away, back to the spray of violet colours in sun. My fingers were a band round the tool in my hand and I stopped a moment to choose. What would I take? Which scene would make the perfect memory for me?

Each floret flipped, leaned sideways and tipped, to show me its very best face. And the soft breeze coddled and tickled and dawdled with a gentle rock-a-bye lulling pace. I moved in and I snapped, then turned and slapped the tickling leaves from my legs, but my fingers clicked on and I’m sure my eyes shone, the flowers still fragile as eggs.  

I left them all there and backed over ground bare, not wanting to shorten flower lives, nor to leave my mark like a note to say “Hark! I was here and I took my share.” But I brought for you a bit of the view from those colourful moments hard won, and I hope they bring joy to each girl and boy, and into your life some sun.


For More of Elaine’s Writing, Try These!




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