bush rises from the bare ground with its shiny green leaves
and sends up long slender stems with small fists.
Too frail for their growing burden, they arch over,
bending and bending until they touch the ground.
I rescue a few to bring inside, caress the pale pink,
silky, soft petals, blow off the ants,
their dark attendants working tirelessly,
and put them in water.
In the garden the rain beats them down- a tragedy,
white swan feathers lie about muddied on the ground,
not like the sturdy daisies, not at all.
Every spring, they arrive with no thorns, no defenses.
I hold one tenderly to my cheek.
Peonies don’t count their petals,
they are lavish and pure like love.
They are rich without regard to money.
They just need someone to hold their necks.