Shēngxiào / 生肖

First published in Bacopa Literary Review 2019, pages 66–67. This sequence also received first prize for haiku ($300) in the Bacopa Literary Review 2019 prizes, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The same issue also included my sequences “Still I Go” and “Haiku Lessons.” See also Mary Bast’s Bacopa Literary Review blog post on 13 October 2019 about this sequence, and my own 15 January 2020 guest post on the same blog. Sequence originally written in late December of 2017.       +

year of the rat—
three African violets
by the mended violin

                year of the ox—
                peach blossoms
                left in the letterbox

year of the tiger—
the glow of cineraria
in misty moonlight

                year of the rabbit—
                the unfinished painting
                of purple jasmine

year of the dragon—
a bleeding heart
fallen to the mantel

                year of the snake—
                yellow orchids
                for the election winner

year of the horse—
a pair of calla lilies
nodding in a vase

                year of the goat—
                a red carnation
                in the journalist’s lapel

year of the monkey—
the encyclopedia opens
to chrysanthemums

                year of the rooster—
                talking so much in the garden
                she misses my gladiolas

year of the dog—
rose bushes hiding
a garden gnome

                year of the pig—
                the abundance
                of hydrangeas