by Barbara Loyd

I like to force paper whites’ early blooms
which share their sweet scents’ perfume 
in our house during Advent.

“Bethlehem’s” soft yellow petals,
centered with a darker yellow cup,
give off a musky scent.

“Nazareth’s” brighter cup and
delicate yellow petals release
 a moderate, sweet fragrance.

I like to imagine these flowers abloom,
as a cheerful sight for The Holy Family
during their flight from Bethlehem.

Again, bulbs’ spring blossoms may have greeted
the little family as they traveled back home to Nazareth
once their sojourn to safety in Egypt ended.

Barbara Boothe Loyd graduated from the University of Maryland with a BFA in art history and literature in 1974. She taught art and English to students in grades 1-12 during her career. Barbara lives in Granbury, Texas, with her husband and three pets. She has exhibited her art internationally, nationally and locally; her poetry and memoirs have been published in several anthologies.

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