I was sure the long-abused-
by-climate bougainvillea dead
after years of pink tissue-paper blossoms
each winter, branches seeking light against
cold window glass in its corner. This year
all, all leaves were alitter on the floor
and the branches turned to brittle sticks.
My daughter begged a reprieve
with one more try, moving it from where
its waterings drained down to the soil
of a geranium, which lapped liquid up
and blooms. We added soil and planted
the stickety sticks that were left
into a bigger, water tight pot to keep
the draining moisture available, found a place
to catch a little sun without thorny branches
scratching stray passersby. Now tiny and
the silkiest of leaves appear,
thin slips of green,
fragile … tentative. They seem
so unlikely that I find it hard to believe
in them. I finger them in passing, touch
slender promise and  remember all all
of the unlikely salvations strewn down
my many years … and again hope.

Carol Hamilton

Carol Hamilton has retired from teaching 2nd grade through graduate school in Connecticut, Indiana and Oklahoma, from storytelling and volunteer medical translating. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has published 19 books and chapbooks: children’s novels, legends and poetry. She has been nominated ten times for a Pushcart Prize. She has won a Southwest Book Award, Oklahoma Book Award, David Ray Poetry Prize, Byline Magazine literary awards in both short story and poetry, Warren Keith Poetry Award, Pegasus Award and a Chiron Review Chapbook Award.

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