The plants we cannot protect will be hurt the most,
the Master Gardener warned.
Saucer magnolias, Japanese magnolias.
Their buds brown mush, blooms stillborn.
Too high up to cover with black plastic,
The first to feel the icy blast,
the late March freeze that comes up
despite the calendar and leaves before dawn.
The babies, the small ones
we can keep at home,
tucked in their light wool spring blankets
Away from King George Street
where the young man grins
and chews spearmint gum
before the suicide bomb.
We cannot protect the lingering teenagers
blooming on the corner,
the widows gone to market,
or the messengers.
They stand frozen on the afternoon pavement
like purple petals on bare branches,
lost in the season.