“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
― Harper Lee
(a couple of volunteer pansies popping up / Julie Cook / 2014)
The garden of Winter stands empty and bare.
Lush rich canopies, once towering overhead, are now all but forgotten
Only gnarly sticks and branches, jutting precariously helter skelter,
stand as the lonely sentinels of the yard.
Once an oasis of cool green grass offered a refreshing respite for hot tired toes,
now all that was, stands garishly transformed, stunted and brown
As a blanket of grey wraps its cold arms around everything in sight.
Yet just under the veil of freshly fallen snow
or perhaps it was just after the latest hard freeze,
a demure, yet tenacious wonder, appears.
Short and stocky, yet perky and hardy
joyful little face-like blooms emerge one by one.
No other color or tender blossom dares tread this time of year
as the frosty winter air is not for timid or faint of heart.
Nevertheless take courage you who are cold and weary–
as you who suffer, laying waste under the wiles of Old Man Winter’s wicked spite,
for there is one who stands valiantly at the ready to offer both
color and hope to your worn and bleary senses. . .
for behold the lowly pansy readies for a fight.