MM Panas and JoAnn Moore

Nature’s Cycles
By MM Panas
24″ x 18″ Acrylic on paper
Response

The Memory of Scent
By JoAnn Moore
Inspiration piece

The lilacs finally bloomed the day before,
spilling sweetness through the window to your bed

and your low labored rattles. Ironic
that you, so angry and unforgiving,

favored the briefest of flowers— even
in dying.

Twenty months of treatment,
coma day eighteen, you began

to harden: pain lines furrowed deep, creased eyelids,
tightened fists, clenched jaw, curled toes. No amount

of morphine for release. Out in the yard
your first granddaughter picked every lilac;

filled each vase in the house, plus two
mixing bowls for the extras— immersing you

in the candied purple scent. Then into
the backyard corner she went where your darkest

purple tree awaited its own blossoming.
She scaled the ladder and cut the biggest

of the unopened flowers, fed that cutting
warm water and flooded it with lamp

light. By morning, only two panicles
opened. Your rattle roared—

drowning out the scent
the lilacs sang until she walked in your room,

brushed your face with that spray of deepest purple,
and laid the lone realized flower at your chin.

With the lifetime that fills three minutes—
in the dense, lilac-laden air— suddenly

you were quiet, and in the lines relaxed
upon your face, the earliness of a smile.

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