A Capitol of Tulips


( the birth in 1943 of Princess Magriet to Princess Juliana at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. The maternity ward was declared to be officially a temporary part of international territory, so that she would be born in no country and would inherit only her Dutch citizenship from her mother. )

I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people,”

Vincent Van Gogh

Look at her! wrapped in petals of voile

and veil. Magriet, a daisy rising up

like a banner, leading the fields

flowering in their own time.

I sit among stalks of many nations

in strong soil that has sheltered

my grandchildren like rich earth enfolding

roots. My gratefulness ever blossoming.

We stand separated by water

and acreage, firmly planted in unity

like the bulbs that renew the face

of our battered land each spring.

So many flowers deadheaded,

cut down before their season,

their blood deep in our soil.

These people have accepted,

befriended my daughter, my ambassador,

my transplanted bulb, as their own.

Look, she has unfolded, like the petals

of the turban flower,

Protected like soil around the bulb.

How I love this garden as my own.


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