On camellias abloom in oak trees

Camellia blossom in an oak tree. Photo by Margaret Simon

Grafted to my oak stem,
your pink camellia
fingers twined
so sweetly
that we formed
new growth. 

More mother
than wife, 
more you
than me, 
more scented of
your flower-breath 
than of my own
bitter leaves. 

I was me plus you, 
a new color, 
a new species, 
yet common, 
on this green

Like one cornflower 
in a field of flowers. 

Copyright 2021 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: Thanks to Margaret Simon for inspiring another poem. Her photo made me remember holding my daughter, a new being who had been part of me, yet was entirely her own person. Motherhood changed me forever, and I don’t regret a day of it. 

Writing Tip: Emily Dickinson’s poemTell all the truth but tell it slant, gives away a writer’s tradecraft. When I tell something slant, I may take a close personal perspective and make it broad, or visa versa. Perhaps I turn the object of my writing into something else through metaphor, symbolism, or themes. Tell it slant. 

Tell all the truth but tell it slant — (1263)
Emily Dickinson

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

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