Reply to Sonnet 15
by Mary Freeman
You watched the faithful soldiers of our state
File off to war: you saw a Rome unending;
In roses’ pale demise glimpsed yours impending,
Sought shelter inside Flora’s garden gate.
There life in running rills did not abate,
But filled with teeming rivers, tree trunks bending,
Alive with wind of yours and Flora’s rending.
You bore these wondrous things without a mate,
Without your lover’s soft caress—the tree
Where you could carve your runes inside its core,
Would rise above the temple he had razed.
You sang a solemn, clear-voiced liturgy
Against your stained glassed panes, where rain still pours,
And left us with your poetry, amazed.
Copyright © 2011 by Mary Freeman.
This poem is a reply to Sonnet 15 in the sequence “Replies to Petrarch’s Sonnet 107” by Julia Budenz.