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Prepare to bloom

from Context by Garret Potter

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Recorded by Mike McGee. Produced by Mike McGee and Garret Potter
Thank you.


Prepare to bloom

The wheels turned beneath me,
on my Autumn night commute.

But inside,
they were twirling like leaves.

I was falling into memories
of romance in past seasons.

These thoughts spun out of control.
I had to get out, outside of my head,
so I used my eyes,
and looking around,
maybe for the first time that entire commute,

I noticed something
something beautiful was happening
in the park right next to me:

In yellow park lantern glow,
leaves were cascading like snowflakes.

So I stopped.
I jettisoned my vehicle.
I ran.
And, I dove,
plunging myself into a free pile of leaves.

This momentary gift
allowed trapped laughter to escape.

And for a moment,
I heard nothing
until only the swaying whisper-breeze
of an ancient orator
exhaled for me its wisdom
(and I listened):

“The trees
don't hold on always.
In Autumn, they let their colors fall.
Naked, they stand exposed,
in darkness and cold,
while beneath,
they undergo root work,
reaching deep for warmth.
They breathe in
and stretch out,
exhale and exile,
and prepare
during Winter,
to bloom
in Spring.”

“But, you don't understand!”
I scream in reply,
“To think of it, I've seen
twenty-five of these Springs
and doubt there's anything like that for me.”
“Just 'cause trees can make it naked,
doesn't mean I can;
just 'cause their limbs can bare it barren,
doesn't mean mine can;
and just 'cause their roots stretch out and reach deep
in cold harsh seasons,
how am I to prepare to love
if everyone keeps leaving?”
“I have tried most everything:
squashed ripening friendships
moving too close unexpected,
deprived seeds of relationship
in endless deliberation,
and I held on to too many maybes
'till they drained life from my limbs,
forcing me to surrender,
to fall.

Like the laden crowns of the grandfather oaks
where I sat that night exhausted

and I prayed,

I need something.
And if You dare not touch me,
then let the arms of these trees
glitter their golden confetti
to wrap me in a patchwork,
sewn by breath,
to nurture me
out of paralysis,
so maybe before this (twenty-sixth) Spring comes,
I can begin to imagine that something might be coming,

That, if the trees can make it naked,
then maybe, so can I!
If their limbs can bare it barren,
then why can’t mine!
and if their roots stretch out and reach deep in cold harsh seasons…

No matter what Winter takes
I will grow underneath.

I’ll breathe in, and stretch out,
exhale and exile,
and prepare
for love to bloom
when this my Winter
turns to Spring.

Copyright © 2012, Garret William Potter.


from Context, released October 7, 2013


all rights reserved



Garret Potter Ann Arbor, Michigan

Garret Potter has come from nine states and Japan to find himself a familiar name in the international Poetry Slam community. He is cursed with consideration which he has learned to turn into gifts: heart-pounding, mind-delving inquiries and observations on vulnerability, community, and sustainability—poems. He likes moments with new people, movies, and food, old friends, books, bikes, and forests ... more

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