Grandma’s Four-O’clocks

English: Mirabilis jalapa or Four'O Clock flow...

English: Mirabilis jalapa or Four’O Clock flower In Different Colors in same plant മലയാളം: ഒരു ചെടിയിലെ നാലുമണിപ്പൂവ് പല നിറങ്ങളില്‍ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My grandma’s pink and yellow four-o’clocks
once spread their blooms like fans in August heat
and sent a fragrance rushing over rocks
near where I sat and drank iced lemon treat–
that grandma chilled in churn for scorching days.
So long ago and yet I still recall
those four-o’clocks and Grandma’s worn, old chaise
lounge where I napped upon a tattered shawl.
If Grandma raised her voice, it was to sing
beside bright blooms. And I shall not forget
her melody, her green-thumb nurturing,
and lemonade that cooled me from a sweat.
At four o’clock when blossoms still spread wide,
it is a dream that claims my grandma died.

Copyright, Freeda Baker Nichols

(This poem won third place in Poets’ Roundtable
of Arkansas, U.S.A. annual contest in 1996)