When Nothing Else Will Hold Us

The red of this amaryllis
is blood I spilled
at five when I tried
to ride a tricycle down

stone steps. I was dumb
to try it, and this flower
is dumb if it thinks such
a red will outlast winter.
But what kinds of discoveries
are possible
unless we attempt dumb things--

riding down cement steps,
blooming in a winter window,
these are sure to end badly,
as does childhood,
as does winter--

then the red will be
a color we hold when
nothing else will hold us.

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