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Floral Abecedarian

March 31, 2013

Easter Greetings!

As I send to you joyous Easter wishes, I think of the signs of spring and Easter. Eagerly awaiting the season of container gardening and most especially looking forward to the budding of my tulips (still flanked by snow and ice), I ponder all the flowers that remind me not only of this season of renewal, but also of special people and places in my life. Last autumn, at the end of the gardening season, I wrote an abecedarian to encompass many of my special memories of flowers; and I share the poem below.

As you will notice, the abecedarian includes 26 lines—one for each letter of the alphabet—in alphabetical order. I chose to write my abecedarian in six quatrains with the a-b-b-a rhyme scheme, followed by one couplet.

Floral Abecedarian

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Arrangements of floral memories blossom in my mind.
Beautiful Bouquets at weddings were thrown to happy hands.
Chrysanthemums channel back to high school homecoming and marching bands.
Daffodils, in perky and steadfast fashion, disseminate hope that winter will soon unwind.

Easter lilies bud forth with bunnies, eggs, and prayer.
Forget-me-nots remind me to hold dear all of our family gardens.
Gladioli generated my first flower garden, and geraniums renewed Little Edens.
Hyacinths were blue and pink presents that Dad gave my sister and me—a fragrant flair.

Irises of many colors and with too many bees grew along our yard’s east section.
Jonquils grace the magenta vase that my mother purchase at the 1933 World’s Fair.
Kitchen window sill at home balanced children’s tiny bouquets beyond compare.
Lilies-of-the-valley hugged tightly against our Hoosier home’s foundation.

Marigolds of yellow, orange, and gold most remind me of my mother—another Mary.
Nosegays were grasped by a young bridesmaid, waiting to become a bride.
Orchids of cream and lapis make a favorite corsage to wear with pride.
Peonies, the most common among all my aunts, made a flouncy boundary.

Queen Anne’s Lace reminds us of how one different floret can stand tall among the rest.
Roses, that once graced funerals, were pressed into blessed and holy rosary beads.
Snowflake mums and red carnations burst forth with holiday cheer and good deeds.
Tulips of numerous types trailed along the sidewalk of Aunt Zita’s restaurant—the best.

Umbrellas reign for all the rains and rainbows that bring life to all our cherished flowers.
Violets snatched from a roadside were transplanted beside our water pump’s overflow.
Water lilies floated in the pond of Roselawn Cemetery—just for show.
Xerophytes do grow where there is no rain for hours and hours.

Youthful and elderly memories of family gardens abound:
zinnias were the flowers that Grandma nurtured near the Italian bakery of our hometown.

Happy Easter to our family, friends, fellow bloggers, and readers of this blog!

Alice and Zoe

March 30, 2013, Saturday


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  1. Hi Alice, I agree that sometimes, you have to set a poem aside and take a fresh look at it later. This poem was definitely worth the wait to revise. Please keep up the good work, and keep blogging.

  2. Ahhh, your words capture such lovely memories! How about those dandelions that we thought made such beautiful bouquets?

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