Sacristy in February
What to do with the Poinsettias
when Lent approaches?
Red leaves still velvet, still sumptuous,
gathered in a group of six,
they flow together like flames in a fireplace.
What to do with them now,
when the sacristan rousts them from the sanctuary,
relegates them to a cart in the hall?
Here, in the land where Poinsettias don’t bloom outside,
I can’t keep all these refugees in my room.
I can’t consign them naked to the cold earth
where their velvet will wither into black rags.
So I decapitate them,
pull their rootbound potshaped soil,
snowy with vermiculite.
I dump those clumps
onto the mulch gone ground
over the tulip bulbs.
Anne Higgins teaches English at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg Maryland, USA. She is a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. She has had about 100 poems published in a variety of small magazines. Five full-length books and three chapbooks of her poetry have been published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013,Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press 2016. Her poems have been featured several times on The Writer’s Almanac.