Watering the Violet, by Nancy Schmalz

…they’ll continue to blossom month after month until they reach stalky old age, which for African violets is about four years. — James Crockett, “Crockett’s Indoor Garden”

You are the faithful companion of my practice time,
my silent green-eared audience,
the source of endless blossoms and dewy daughters,
whose innocent multitudes purple my shelves.
Now we both approach that stalky time
foretold by Mr. Crockett.

Your sturdy gnarled stem is strong,
your furry leaves still soft,
your quiet presence eloquent as music.

Have a drink, my friend,
warm as rain, gentle
as the filtered light you love,
a balm to soothe your tough old stubborn roots.

Nancy Schmalz, Mineral Point
This poem appears in Nancy’s 2017 collection “Breath to Music, Air to Sound.”