Crimson Glories by Catherine Coundjeris

Crimson Glories

Crimson Glories

by Catherine Coundjeris

Honeysuckle wafting over me
takes me back to a time when
I was young and life was easy, and
my family’s number complete.

Crimson Glories were heady with perfume
whenever we pulled into the driveway.
They competed with the honeysuckle, in the side yard.

Dad would tend the roses
and pull the beetles off one by one
before they would tear apart the petals.
I would help him.

Mom enjoyed the scarlet bouquets.
She set them in on the dining room table.
Living on one of the biggest clay deposits
on the shore, Dad would buy rich soil
and add it to the gardens.

He grew corn, cucumbers, lettuce,
squash, peppers, and plant marigolds
and hot peppers to keep away the pests.
And oh, the tomatoes!

We would live on tomato sandwiches while
hot summer days spent reading book after book,
biking down to the strand and swimming
in the river when it was still clean.

We would go to Saturday night Mass
and Dad would come from work.
We would recognize his unmistakable voice
as he entered the vestibule.

Oh, the stories he would tell
And there was always laughter.
Laughter at ourselves and at life’s obstacles.
He never let us stay down.

I have since planted all variety of roses
Trying to recall those early days,
but nothing compares
To Dad’s Crimson Glories.


Catherine's poetry is published in literary magazines, including, Jalmurra, Calla Press, Cholla Needles, Last Leaves, Bewildering Stories, The Raven Review, Open Door Magazine, Stone Hill Journal, Honeyguide, Loud Coffee Press, Moss Puppy Magazine, and Zephyr Review. She also has stories published in Proem, Quail Bell, and KeepThings on Instagram. She has recently published an essay in an anthology from Luna Press called Not the Fellowship Dragon’s Welcome.

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  1. A beautiful poem and as always, complemented with beautiful art.

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