"To scale all love down
To a cupped hand’s size"
Edith Tiempo ~ Bonsai

Even now there is a mote of rage
behind these cool blue eyes – some rouge
perhaps has rubbed in over years
redness lessened to a small hot spot
the way volcanoes lie low
smouldering, mouldering
in uncanny silence

Remember how you took the offering
with open arms? All green and springy
in that first fabulous flush. The following year
made too much growth to carry round
but a few lopped, sacrificial branches served
to sever the glow of growing enthusiasm
after that it all scaled down like Alice, pruned
pared and cut to size, amputated
at the root to fit the pretty, shallow porcelain

I imagine you nurture this memory still
on a cold, back bedroom windowsill
and catching sight of it remark
at how the fleshy bark has aged
admire the twists, wired in so cunningly
and seeing sweet succulence emerge
each Spring, recall – but come the fall
know that flaming crimson is an all
consuming conflagration, still smouldering
on a late November bonfire

I'm late with Sarah's Poetics prompt "Red" so am catching up at Open Link Night where anything goes as long as it's poetry