“is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire…”
T. S. Elliot, The Wasteland

Yesterday, dull flat dirt,
but today the yellow bobs
of daffodils—and lilacs (!)
lovely in their Sunday best—
obliviously decked out for Easter,
which has called in sick, cloistered
instead behind all that isn’t
what it was: absentee
stained glass, sealed tight
against the world; prayer
videotaped and piped in
to the still living, now quarantined
behind brick, wood, and stone, behind
straw that won’t spin into the glorious
gold of daffodils! O lavender,
petaled with Spring and resurrection,
give us your memory and desire,
the Ordinary Time of suburban dirt
and city gardens, readying again
(in these days of desolation)
for one more fragile miracle,
one more fragrant bloom
of everlasting hope.

Thanh Ha, Vietnam