Sunday, March 29, 2009

putting on a red dress

I am quite excited about Cuetlaxachitl's rebirth into red! Cuetlaxachitl came to my house Dec. 2007, a gift from my mother, who, as I told you before, calls her joulukukka. After Cuetlaxachitl dropped all of her red last summer, I put her outside in my garden. She was quite happy out there amongst her much more northerly sisters, whose roots reach deep into the earth to survive the claw of winter. As the summer days shortened and before the nights brought a frosty mantle onto the earth, I carried Cuetlaxachitl indoors into the back sun room. She was quite happy there in the chill of that room as the nights lengthened. After Winter Solstice, I carried her upstairs to look out a little window, southwards, towards the winter sun. She seemed quite happy there in her quiet green way. So, you can imagine my surprise when I went to check on her recently and saw that she had taken up red again! She's tired of winter! She's putting on her red dress again!

Farewell Wild Woman (I), by one of my favorite poets, Lorna Goodison

I seemed to have put distance
between me and the wild woman
she being certified bad company.
Always inviting me to drink
bloody wine from clay cups
and succumb to false promise
in the yes of slim dark men.
Sometimes though when I'm
closing the house down early
and feeling virtuous for living
one more day without falling too low
I think I see her behind the hibiscus
in dresses competing with their red,
and she's spinning a key hung on a
cat's eye ring
and inviting me to go low riding


Merche Pallarés said...

Beautiful story of the Christmas flower! How lucky that you can keep them, indoors or outdoors, for quite a long time... Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

yes, Merche, this flower is very unpredictable. Hearty, beautiful, but also fussy. Too much light at the wrong time--she will die. Too much water--she will die. Not enough dark at the right time--she will never bloom. But of course, this is in her transplanted home. Down south she may do just fine outdoors without any attention whatsoever.