The buckeye blooms,
Her beating heart worn on an emerald sleeve
Holding nothing back.
Her horde of sapphires startles forest gloom —
Each jeweled bouquet-spray a whorl of sun-
The winter has been cold with frosts and ice —
Her flame thus all the welcome more.
Less chirp than squeak,
Electric zaps of wing
Announce the hummingbird is here.
Blossoms nod, bouquet aquiver.
No hurry, we, as if suspended, like the bird
Who’s testing, tasting every yellow-throated tube—
Frozen motion like a candle flame, in room without a
breath of air.
Still moment this —
With world eclipsed
Silencing the standers-by,
Their conversations hushed.
Even pileated’s jungle cry
And drumming on a trunk:
Hush falls on all.
As suddenly appeared,
Then off it zips
To fuel quickened life
With nectar’s honeyed fire
From honeysuckle’s coral cup
That’s burning bright
In sun-lit tree-tops on the hill.
*Aesculus pavia, South Carolina’s native red buckeye