Bunchberry on the Trail
by Russell Rowland

Tiny white pinwheels waiting for a breeze
to spin them, or the puff-cheeked breath
of such a child as Jesus suffered to come;
but would that child refrain from picking,
and will the hurried hiker watch his step?

What is more vulnerable, unless the fetus
of fifteen weeks, in the photo ultrasound
Colleen inserted in my Father’s Day card:
first grandchild, intricately wrought within
the not-impregnable fortress of the womb.

Not quite he or she, floating in the Eden-
sleep of innocence from which all need
to wake at birth; bound to that frail cord
of nurture which must part. How easily
can our hopes miscarry, or be deformed!

One stomp, and a blossom is laid as flat
as a martyr in the arena, felled by Rome.
Still—while the earth remains, seedtime
and harvest, cold and heat, bunchberry
shall not cease. So thrive, our little one.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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