quarantine altars

I kneel at the petunias with palmfuls of water
and because nature prizes reciprocity
the purple velvet choir rains hosannas over me.

I greet the stately Vanderwolf pine
whose silvery pom poms bounce in the wind
on the vibratory frequency of joy.

Our sagely Ginkgo might live a thousand years
because nature’s resilience astounds.
(Some ginkgoes survived the atom bomb.)

My mother and brother mingle in the island
beneath the benevolent Buddha and
blossoming camellia.

Rather than collecting dust on the mantle,
ashes mix with detritus and seeds of marigold
becoming new life.

Prayers intensify as I spin, spin, spin–
a dance of enlightenment for dusky foothills.
I become blind aliveness in the wind.

Because nature sheds time without regret,
every soft rivulet of air that runs along my arms
carries the timbre of forgiveness.


Poem by Marie Marchand

Marie Marchand (she/her) has been published in Catamaran Literary Reader, California Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, High Plains Register, and numerous chapbooks. Her new book Gifts to the Attentive will be published in 2022 by Winter Goose Publishing. Her 2018 book Pink Sunset Luminaries features 100 poems about love, nature, and transcendence. Read more at mishiepoet.com and follow her on Twitter @mishiepoet.