they were blighted, our Japanese Mimosas.
the frost bit twice, two weeks apart;
the first stunted the new growth,
the second chilled the roots.
a neighbour advised warm water,
“not boiling” round the base.
i waited hoping – these gifts from our girls,
planted at a diagonal to your cherry tree -
looking for shoots, instead watched them dry,
the stem darken, bark brittling shrivel.
the youngest said, “please don’t cut them down,
they still might grow back”,
and so they remained, daily flaking,
until sharp eyed, one day, she stated, “it’s had a baby,”
and i eager to witness a rebirth
saw five shoots each where there had been one.
carefully nurtured they now rise five metres and more,
each intricate leaf and yellow blossom reminding
us all of you, the beauty of you in our lives,
the evergreen unselfish love you shared,
the seeds you planted, in me and our girls,
and i am grateful for the life had,
the life i have, and the life to come,
the ache of your absence killed by the spring.