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POEMS

>CROCUS

By Joan Murray

You're wrong about the crocus,
the bulbs closed tight beneath the still
unbreathing snow. You can't rouse them
to bring back that Easter garden
of violet deaths and golden resurrections
slipped from our childhood eyes.
Even if your yearning could find
that Sunday morning faith, long ago uprooted
with our cellophane grass and paper flowers,
how could its faded heat sink down
through frozen earth to stir the crocus
and raise it back to life?
Yet you say the crocus will be first.
But this morning I passed the East Gate
near Delavan and Main where early sun
dredges snow in Forest Lawn,
and I saw that the first to rise
are as low and gray as weathered bone:
the rows of stone. Slowly they melt back
to sight, not blooming, not singing,
but tuned to the reappearing sun
like impassive faces on Easter Island,
patient for some promised resurrection.
Flowers they are of rare old names.
Call them simply forget-me-nots
and see they are flowers of revelation.
Each year they are the first to rise.

JOAN MURRAY will be the featured guest of the Earth's Daughters Gray Hair Reading Series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Avenue (near Tupper Street). A former Buffalo resident and recipient of the Poetry Society of America's Gordon Barber Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry as well as book prizes from the National Poetry Series and Wesleyan New Poets Series, her collections of poetry include "Looking for the Parade" (W.W. Norton, 2000), "Dancing on the Edge" (2002) and "Queen of the Mist" (1999), both from Beacon Press, and "The Same Water" (Wesleyan University Press, 1990).