|The Yellow Scale by Frantisek Kupka|
always catches me by surprise –
Every spring, like Persephone, their patron saint, the jonquils and daffodils resurrected
in my grandparents’ bottom pasture, their lemony hue glistening in the sunlight,
a spot of distant brightness amidst the green swirl.
As a child I ambled through the tall, swaying grass, as children are wont to do,
stooping occasionally to pick an errant pink primrose,
the ubiquitous wildflower we call buttercup in the South,
breathing in the velvet petals until they stuck to my skin, the stamen sprinkling dusty freckles of
pollen across my nose, nimbly dodging the bumblebees flitting from bloom to bloom,
a certain method to their seemingly careless flight,
their back legs encrusted with that same saffron pollen which they scattered to the hungry
breezes as canary-colored butterflies, diaphanous-winged,
swooped in delicate arcs through the warmed air.
On those radiant spring days,
my life stretched endlessly before me,
and, having not yet flown too close to the unforgiving sun,
my own fragile, new-feathered wings still intact,
I knew nothing of impending loss.
Donna Cozart Pauley, Top Honors, Friendswood Library
Donna Cozart Pauley was born in a town of 200 in the rolling hills of East Texas. Born into a family of prolific oral storytellers, she learned the art herself at the knees of her ten grandparents, telling her own stories in both prose and verse. She has been teaching English at Alvin High School for the past 22 years and is currently working on her PhD in literature at the University of Houston. Just like those silent trees falling in the forest, words only matter if they’re read or heard, so she has devoted her life to the written word.