In Honor of the Tabebuia
It’s glorious spring here in Florida. The sun is warm and inviting, allowing me to sit reading, barely clothed, on my tiny south-facing second-floor patio for 45 minutes today. And of course, the ultimate sign of the times is the emergence of the radiant tabebuia blooms all over town. If you have not seen the glut of bright golden tabebuia trees on the Rollins campus, get thee over there right this minute. In honor of those blooms, and sunshine, and Spring, I offer today my one and only poem about a tree.
In February and early March, the tabebuia tree does not look well. Leaves wither and brown, curl in on themselves, hold fast to the branches.
I worry each year. Is this the way of tabs? Does it need food? water? love?
Eventually, the leaves fall— all in a day. The grass is littered with crisp, tiny brown scrolls.
I am left with sleek branches. And a yearning to do something.
Then, days later, I’m in the garden, pruning azaleas, re-potting amaryllis bulbs, and the tab explodes, silent but bright. Huge, trumpet-blossoms of golden yellow, glowing as if ignited from within, converge on bared branches.
All at once, surprising me in my garden reverie, they appear as an unearned reward.
But too soon, before blossoms have finished their lesson, I am called away— no matter the reason: business in Dayton; a lover in Minneapolis; a meeting at city hall; a friend wanting Thai; a trip to the morgue.
And off I go. Duty (or pleasure) overwhelms.
Returning on Friday evening, close to midnight, travel-weary and hungry, unwilling to slip into bed alone, I step out onto the deck and feel beneath my bare feet the scattering sogginess of withered blossoms.
Photo credit: Google images.