Walking, I drew my hand over the lumpy
bloom of a spray of purple; I stripped away
my fingers, stained purple; put it to my nose,
the minty honey, a perfume so aggressively
pleasant—I gave it to you to smell,
my daughter, and you pulled away as if
I was giving you a palm full of wasps,
deceptions: “Smell the way the air
changes because of purple and green.”
This is the promise I make to you:
I will never give you a fist full of wasps,
just the surprise of purple and the scent of rain.
Reproduced from Nebraska: Poems by Kwame Dawes by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 2019 by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.
The cry of the cicada
Gives us no sign
That presently it will die.
—Translation by William George Aston
This poem is in the public domain.