Forcing Bulbs

How to explain why these terra-cotta pots, brimful of soil, sit ice-encrusted beneath bagged broccoli in the freezer? Why, when all creation is frozen fast, these little urns of earth must evict leftovers and ice-cube trays? But when they move out to the radiator, thaw, sprout, and finally flower, the carnival of color answers all reproaches. Snowflakes flit against windowpanes, and the lilies face the meager light, a handful of bulbs forcing such uncanny red through thin green stems to taunt the silent reign of white.

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