Bathing in Bougainvillea

I walk beneath the bougainvillea,
so its colored bracts with tiny waxen flowers
flow over me in rainbow fountains.
My being is cleansed
in their magentas and purples,
yellows and crimsons and pinks.

I have seen a bougainvillea tree
so orange it glowed like a torch;
This I admired from a distance.
The ones of white, I must still myself
stand below  and close my eyes
for deepest rinse of my soul.


The leaf-like bracts, with the feel of baby skin
are airy light in my hand
when I gather a papery bouquet
from the carpet they make
where they flutter fall
into arms of earth.

In case you’re a person who must inquire
as to family background of someone new,
}the bougainvillea, tree or vine or bush,
descends from the Four O’Clock family,
Nyc-ta-gin-á-ce-ae!
And she is always pleased to meet you.

Three bracts surround each group
of little trumpet flowers: three,
white or yellow-white,
arranged in a triangle a single short stem.
Botanists call the flower “perfect,”
each holding, as it does,
both stamen and pistil within.

This intersex blossom of beauty,
with its blazing bracts but manner demure,
has aroused my admiration slowly,
or shall I say, I’ve been slow to see
its nuances and wonders.
But now I’m smitten, struck and taken,
besotted, hooked, enamored.
Have compassion should you spy me
grinning starry-eyed, and bathing
beneath a flowing bougainvillea fountain.

©Susa Silvermarie 2019

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