Like Penitent Flowers — A poem

(Hardy German winter blooms call my heart to genuflect and reflect, as they seem to take what I remember my grandmother referring to as ‘the penitent form’—bowing in humble repentance… appropriately, as Lent progresses.)

(C) Garden flowers, Otterberg, DSA, 03/18/22

Like penitent flowers,

Blooms of the late German winter,

I bow my head.

I hold off my reach

For the approaching light;

I keep shuttered, my room,

For vital pause;

I acknowledge earth’s thirst

And the lingering dry

Of this wintry wilderness time;

Lest, rushing to Spring,

I forget.

The butterfly coming to sip

Must pause,


And alter

His desire,

For nectar, sweet;

It must first condescend

To enter

The hanging heads,

Of the penitent winter blooms.

So, my soul, foot-tapping for brighter days,

Like the fluttering pollen gatherers

Eager for productivity,

Driven, busy, worker bee,

Must bow,

In humble genuflection,

Considering His condescension

Who came;

Calling our name,

In days of our shame.

Minded by the flowers

Of the late German winter,

I’ll wait,

I’ll take the penitent form,

Before I enter in,

To drink once again,

Of the One in whom

We live,

And move,

And have our being;

The One from whom flows

The honey in the Rock

That was struck,

And cleft,

For me,

For you,

For us.

_________(C)DSA, 03/18/22

Author: Denise S. Armstrong

e teacher. She gratefully enjoys a thirty-years-strong marriage, which has joyfully produced three offspring. Jamaican by birth, Denise's work reflects her family’s cross-cultural journey. She is a blogger in poetry, short-form essays, ethnic sketches and musicals. Her work has also appeared in The Caribbean Writer--a literary publication of the University of the Virgin Islands, on SA Radio Cape Pulpit’s – ‘Voices of Change’, as well as on Jamaican television. She considers herself privileged to be a contributor to one of today’s most exciting online communities of Christian artists—The Cultivating Project. At present, she resides in Europe.

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