Admonition in January
(On Passing a Florist’s Filled with Pussy Willows)
by Phyllis McGinley
An urban mind has learned to bear
The calendar’s perpetual treason:
Strawberries ripe for winter fare
And skating out of season;
Shop windows of December, bold
With swim suits daringly contrived here,
And August magazines grown old
Ere June has half arrived here.
But pussy willows wake our dream.
They wear a true, a springtime label,
And what necessities redeem
The flouting of the fable?
Here, incubated and absurd,
They droop in shivering sorority.
Their hopeful voices rise unheard
Above the storm’s authority.
And sharper seems the wind, and chill,
With April farther off than payday,
And endless all the days until
They have their proper heyday.
Florists, beware! Amid the snows
Let orchids blossom for the vendor.
Permit the violet and the rose
To thrive in hothouse splendor,
But leave these innocents to sing
An honest prophecy of spring.
from Miss McGinley’s A Pocketful of Wry, 1940
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More poetry, and prose, I’ve enjoyed sharing from one of my favorite poets:
Poetry Friday earlier this month (The Velvet Hand)
A True and Precious Stone, December 2008
Poetry Friday, November 2007 (Engima for Christmas Shoppers)
Poetry Friday, May 2006 (Incident on Madison Avenue)
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