William F Dougherty
A Promise to Keep (Update.)
Words are for those with promises to keep. — W.H. Auden
I promised her the garden's glory:
marigold's monarchal blooms,
ageratum's lavender fuzz, the
grainy beards of coxcombs' plumes;
sturdy zinnias, salvia's flames,
snapdragons, and tiger lilies: raw
cuttings from home to grace a stone
in final, promissory awe.
Crystal-needled frost struck and drained
the promised flowers brown; left them
in rows of shriveled heads to nod
on gallows of each blackened stem.
I bought chrysanthemums and filled
her navy vase with bronze and gold
clusters to decorate the grave—
my quaking hand let slip its hold.
The vase discharged against a stone
and shattered, as if the cobalt night
had cracked again: the fragments gemmed
my gold bouquet with bluish light.
The flowers lost—love left unsaid—
planted in my repentant sleep
the seeds to start a garden of words
where love and promises will keep.
(Re-worded published in 'The Lyric.' Fall,2012.
Earlier versions appeared in 'Owl Light, and
'Poems: New & Used.')
Who's Who in Poetry 2012 (page 1)
William F Dougherty's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Promise to Keep (Update.) by William F Dougherty )
- No Time, Harold R Hunt Sr
- The Doctor Visit, Harold R Hunt Sr
- postponed until further -hey, i just not.., Mandolyn ...
- The elusive self., michael walker
- We Honor, Harold R Hunt Sr
- Why Do You Cry?, Harold R Hunt Sr
- read me like this, or don't read me at all, Mandolyn ...
- Love's Philosophical Potion, Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel ..
- Two Sisters, Harold R Hunt Sr
- My Bird, Harold R Hunt Sr
Poem of the Day
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Rainer Maria Rilke
(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow