Through shaded classroom windows can I see red and sugar maple inflorescence tasseling high above drifts of cherry and saucer magnolia scurf.
Burnished carmine whirligigs on strings, chartreuse pedicels growing yellow with pollen--
millions of tiny parts confusing the eye at a distance; nearer, unspooling like fractals.
Two more days till the end of March and the cracking of the chocolate egg that will drip with caramel, covering all our sins. It is Lent,
but Southern Appalachia has always observed with ireless green grass and glistering fleshy petals, sepals cracked and spread eagle.
Not even once have I heard my Montessori preschoolers told that they have sinful hearts and dirty bodies.
Not once has a teacher asked them to imagine being on fire with no mothers to help them,
nor that a bearded man in a picture is the only one who can save them from a place where they are alone with a bad man with horns.
-- Anna Laura Reeve is a poet living and gardening near the Tennessee Overhill region, historic land of the Eastern Cherokee. She’s working on her first poetry collection. Previous work of hers has appeared or is forthcoming in Canary, The Trumpeter, The Racket, Cutthroat, and Fourteen Hills, and others. Read more: annalaurareeve.com