Shēngxiào / 生肖

First published in Bacopa Literary Review 2019, pages 66–67. 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 the sequences “Still I Go” and “Haiku Lessons.” See also Mary Bast’s Bacopa Literary Review blog post about this 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