Improbable Flower

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From a distance

the hillside looks green.

Finding a foothold on jutted quartz,

I climb the path worn well by goats,

avoiding the survivors that root

between  rocks–

tenacious and succulent tufts.

Sharp filaments of warning cling to my cuffs:

“Don’t step on my improbable flower.

I have grown her against all odds.”

I am a hopeful botanist

gathering perslane, caper leaves,

the pale sage, the wild thyme,

moss with a honey-combed dome.

Nicked fingers and nettled socks

are the small price to pay

for a glimpse of the mighty at work.

I am a woman of 52,

from my strands of grey

to my hiking boots.

Lined knuckles and thinning lips

that smile at the improbable flower

grown to her fullest bloom.

From a distance

she cannot be seen.

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