The Amaryllis by Leslie Schultz

The Amaryllis
       for G. M. B.

One August day, husband, you brought to me fresh
amaryllis, its cut stem sheathed in foil.
I set it on our table, in a cut-glass bowl,
was warmed by the scent of its deep, red flesh.

Past afternoon, the white clouds rolled, then crossed behind
that red trumpet culled from a ruined garden.
It seemed to stun the sunset, sounding a lush amen
for the light and the fading edges of its kind.

At dusk, the meal done, twin candles fought the gloom.
Then, dripping on hands and empty plates
a quiet, bloody weeping quelled the room.

*

Leslie Schultz (Northfield, Minnesota) has three collections of poetry, Still Life with Poppies: Elegies; Cloud Song; and Concertina (Kelsay Books) and two chapbooks, Larks at Sunrise: Light-hearted Poems for Dark Times (Green Gingko Press) and Living Room (Midwestern Writers Publishing House). Her poetry is in many journals, including Able Muse, Blue Unicorn, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Light, MockingHeart Review, Mezzo Cammin, Naugatuck River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, One Art, Poet Lore, Third Wednesday, The Madison Review, The Midwest Quarterly, The Orchards, Tipton Poetry Review, and The Wayfarer; and in the sidewalks of Northfield. Her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017. In 2020 she served as guest associate editor for Third Wednesday’s Winter Issue. In 2021, she will serve as a judge for the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Schultz posts poems, photographs, and essays on her website: www.winonamedia.net.

I Wanted to Be a Painter by Leslie Schultz

I Wanted to Be a Painter

And I still do.
I picture lying down
to soak up malachite
and vermillion
through my pink skin,
rubbing my face with wild
persimmon and aubergine,
then washing myself clean
with icy aquamarine.

I’ve tried. It’s true.
See from these twisted,
empty tubes just what
I cannot do.

So I retreat now into
bone-pale paper-birch strips,
add marks in reed-strokes
of midnight tone,
all hushed, mute,
stark—
each line one sharp-edged
Scandinavian hue.

*

Leslie Schultz (Northfield, Minnesota) has three collections of poetry, Still Life with Poppies: Elegies; Cloud Song; and Concertina (Kelsay Books, 2016, 2017, 2019) and a chapbook, Larks at Sunrise: Light-hearted Poems for Dark Times (Green Gingko Press, 2021). Her poetry is in many journals, including Able Muse, Blue Unicorn, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Light, Mezzo Cammin, North Dakota Quarterly, Poet Lore, Third Wednesday, The Madison Review, The Midwest Quarterly, The Orchards, Tipton Poetry Review, and The Wayfarer; in the sidewalks of Northfield. Her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017. In 2020 she served as guest associate editor for Third Wednesday’s Winter Issue. In 2021, she will serve as a judge for the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest.). Schultz posts poems at www.winonamedia.net.