tender

As I finger through the shards of my week looking for something to write here, I’m dazzled and distracted by the delight of the day, a finest of Houston day, not cold, but not hot, no humidity, everything not already green showing sulfur-hued tips as if the sun were flinging paint which fell first through an absinthe sieve. This is the time of year when three of my favorite plants flower, the redbud with its heart-stinging purple, the tulip tree with its cream-tinged blush, the azaleas shaded pastel to fuchsia. They won’t last, are here but for a moment. They’re too tender. People are tender, too, aren’t they, until life or we toughen them up. Once I made a character say, I’ve know passion and I’ve known love, but tenderness is best. Easily cut or buised, the dictionary says. I prefer the thesaurus: fine, quiet, gentle. light, sensitive, warm, devoted, melting. Old longings can raise their heads on a melting day like this one, but the sun, the tender of the greens soothes them to quiescence. There will be no tantrums. They’re ghosts of themselves anyway. Is that time? Is that wisdom? Is that good? Is that bad?

What tenderness in you has survived? Can you bear it?

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