PLUM TREE
(for my friends who, each day, fight with AIDS)


Early this morning,
just when the dawn
began illuminating
a filmy February fog,
I sat at my window
drinking peppermint tea.
Dreaming, looking
past the plum tree,
stark and bare,
I noticed the first buds
small, white, fragile.
The plum tree awakens to spring,
I thought.
This moment is too short,
I thought.
Tomorrow or the next day
the white will carpet the ground,
decay and be lost,
but, for now,
this moment is mine.



--Leila Rae (1991)