★ ★ ★ ★



A cardinal tulip too early 
Scarlet like the letter 
Exposed to virus 
Its bell opens in a swaddling of ice
Above the crackling snow 
My heart opens and falls 
Petals left 
In its blooming bowl


Many have found it white and clean 
Colorless brilliant barren
Beauty could not breathe under its blanket
While others stoked the flames to recollect
Warm fires, I nursed only cold embers
Relinquishing the rhythm
Of sunrise and sunset 
as if there were nothing to be found between

But this expanse of bitterness 
Glinting on the ring fingers of trees
And scabbing over that last resolve 
That never melts and never heals
An interminable scape and what is not seen
Underneath and unaware and even asleep

Like the hibernating groundhog 
Dreamless in the stupor of winter 

Tilting Away

The earth’s axis a 23% 
Tilt toward the sun
Winter alters the angle 
I want the moon to burn the night
But it only trails darker and darker.

Wounded sumac bleed the blizzard 
Of its stark whiteness
Ghost trees stammer and wind themselves
Around the blooming storm

Several chickadees plump on the conifer
Outside our window. 
We can hear no song

Hypothermic nightly, this impish bird
Stuffs itself with sunflower seeds
And dives into holes the size of a quarter

My heart tires to burrow in too
To wait out the storm
But still left tilting away 

Mary Marie Dixon is a visual artist and poet with publications in periodicals and a collection of poetry, Eucharist, Enter the Sacred Way, Franciscan, 2008. Her focus on women’s spirituality and the mystics combined with the Great Plains and the spiritual power of nature appears in visual and poetic form.



  1. Editors’ Picks of 2023 – Poetry | THE WILD WORD - […] ‘Bloom’ by Mary Marie Dixon […]

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