FRAGRANT MEMORIES OF WORLD WAR II
In a shady corner where little grew, I planted a gardenia bush.
Thrilled when it bloomed, I plucked the first blossom.
Pressed its sweetness to my face, inhaled and wept,
Suddenly remembering dancing at Sweet Sixteen parties,
And at proms, while overseas there was killing and starvation.
We stacked those Gardenias, in clear boxes, on refrigerator shelves,
Where they browned and withered a few days later.
We danced and laughed with the boys who went away,
Some never to return, just passing from our lives like fragrant corsages.
Yet we went on dancing and smiling.
Those are the memories that flooded my heart,
As I plucked the first blossom from my gardenia bush.
Spilling tears upon my face, along with the morning dew.
The joy of the moment forfeited when I remembered what was lost,
While we danced.