In the fifth month,
the city blossoms
with fragrant lilacs.
After a long colorless Winter
green reappears,
forsythias, and tulips.
Buds on Oxford Street magnolias
ripen and swell with sweet nectar. 

My mother, age twenty,
ripens and swells with me.
The new hospital,
state of the art for 1958
welcomes her and others
for Spring birthings. 

Two weeks early,
a little over 5 pounds,
I arrived in this new world
of the Flower City.
In a year my father would leave
never to look back.
I would be safe
in the arms of extended family
growing amongst the petunias
of our working-class neighborhood. 

Author: Diane Funston

Photo: Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

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