Poetry of Kansas

The Locust Tree

(Bertha Lee Hempstead)
The tall black locust on the hill
    Broke into bloom the night you came;
Its lonesome fragrance haunts me still,
    And though I seldom speak your name
I know that now life never will
    Be quite the same- not quite the same.
Why should a flower's perfume recall
    Your upturned face so vividly?
Why should your voice's rise and fall
    Come clearly back tonight to me?
And why should some things come at all
    And pass, yet never cease to be?

A sudden sense of warmth and light
    Throughout the room your presence shed;
And still do I recall outright
    Each passing, trivial word you said.
When you passed out into the night
    You left a glory in your stead.
And now once more that honeyed tree
    Is fragrant with its waxen bloom,
And every night wind brings to me
    The spring's elusive, faint perfume,
But can such glory ever be
    Again within this little room?

The Call of Kansas and Other Poems
Esther M. (Clark) Hill
(Cedar Rapids: Torch Press. __)
Page 64

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November 2, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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