(Dedicated to my daughter Sharon)
This summer as summers before
a Rosasharon bush now four feet tall
insist on growing, flowering
in a crack of our black office driveway
where it meets the gray concrete retaining wall.
Look at the effort that this plant made
starting with a random seed in this crevice laid
followed by a green sprouts which pushed the tar out.
Bitter New York winters it survived
dogged the snowplow's knife
and each spring and summer grew with hope
praying to be ignored by the gardener's hoe.
Now with branches three feet long
its blooms are purple and white
with red stamens protruding proud.
Hungry city bees devour the yellow pollen puffs,
while its leaves, arrowheads of stone
pierce the polluted air into which they were born.
- Bernard Otterman