Scale, by Alan Toltzis

By Alan Toltzis

In slow motion
small white patches
on the azalea stems
and under its leaves
are ravaging it.


Without a word,
our two white birches
instinctively offer
pages of curled blank bark.


What’s happening
to the roots
of our crape myrtle
in this killing cold?


When warmth feels impossible,
I remember
the pink phalanx of cherry trees
welcoming me back to a parking lot
in California.

Process Notes: “Scale” began after meditating on the idea of how a small change, barely visible on the surface, can indicate something much more troubling internally. That led me to the scale on my azaleas, the deep cold now, and my optimism for spring soon.

Alan Toltzis lives and writes in Bucks County, PA where he is working on a book of poems that are modern expressions of our relationship with God and the world around us. His poems have been published in print and online publications including Focus Midwest, Burningword Literary Journal, The Jewish Literary Journal, and the upcoming issue of Soul-Lit.


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