Sin’s Bloom

                after Mary Oliver

A friend said sin’s bloom
softens over time.
Did she mean decay?
Gone-to-seed harvest of shame?
The fall-to-earth plea
for forgiveness?

Maybe a drooping petal of orange.
Aging stalks. The hungry bee
stealing pollen.
The burl mending hurt?

I grew up
on so many variations
of ways to define sin.

There is no equal in the plant world.
Few blooms are not beautiful,
even the corpse flower.

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Her chapbook, Urban Wild, is out from Finishing Line Press (2014). Ocean’s Laughter, a collection of poetry about Oregon’s north coast will be out from Aldrich Press in December, 2015. Website:

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