Popping Fuchsias

Beside the front steps
of my boyhood schoolhouse
bloomed a fuchsia
rich with fascination,
its crimson flowers
splaying pointed petals
above the vivid purple
silks and pistils,
exotic, sensuous—
suspended dancers
swaying in the dark
green of the leaves.

Yet it was not
these opened blossoms, but
the taut plump buds that
tempted finger and thumb
to squeeze them till they
popped and split, exposing
intimacies, one way of
cheating time
by hurrying it to
open a rapture
it had not
intended to occur
just yet, intent upon
a patient growth
towards maturity,
but I, part brute, -
part sensualist, and maybe

part instructor,
could not wait for time
and its disclosures,
and took a kind of
pride in popping fuchsias,
changing potential into
actual, as
eventually all boyhood
must, and yet
each time I popped a
bud I felt a kind of
qualm, as, surely,
all of us must feel,
hurrying time along
and popping fuchsias.

by Hannah Smith

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