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Before the Flowers (at Colgate University)

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Message Vi Ransel

Before the Flowers

Pink-powdered brick dust
rouges rusty buds on spreading
umbrellas of ancient oaks
making their way up the hill,
lining the Drive named in their honor.

Gracefully sweeping, misty mantillas
of lime-green leaflings wrap willows weeping
in bud-spangled splendor on the library Walk
as it passes over the old stone bridge,
under which swim monogamous swans
making their way to Taylor Pond
on the meandering stream that bisects the lawn
of the lower campus.

A pale lemon tinge, foreshadowing
the fringe-to-be filigree
leaves on poplar trees, promises
suspended tendrils dangling
like Shirley Temple's banana curls.

Over the shoulders of venerable maples,
drape bud-knot-dotted capes
of imperial purple,
which paint the patterns playing
in shadows over abject shubbery
bowed in submission under their feet.

These venerable inhabitants
of the staid college campus
sit surrounded by the intoxicating
fragrance of change emanating
from recently reanimated grasses

all bursting, joyous,
with nubile tension
at the never-ending promise
of re-birth made in


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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).
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