The magnolia and the eclipse

The school sent a note saying

the children will stay inside

during the solar eclipse.

Reading between the lines

their retinas will not be in danger.

It’s raining; the rare obscuring is obscured,

yet the light has a strange quality

as though some other lines

have been lifted from the spectrum.

Despite the partial sun

everyone carries on with their day,

withdrawing cash from ATMs,

pushing their bodies over zebra crossings,

and avoiding each other’s umbrellas

though one or two notice the magnolia

on the cusp of anthesis,

its buds pale and changeable as moons.


(First published in Wildflower Muse, 2 September 2016.)