Inspired by Plath's poem "Tulips"
Ignore the loud stretching of flowers, Sylvia,
their breath aching toward an open sky -
their fragrance will evaporate soon enough
to forget how vivid they were.
Remember their tender roots, instead,
shuddering beneath the bitter soil that rages,
cracking under first frost’s leaden foot.
They retreat into the dusky dark,
their sinews yearning for warmth that wanes.
Ah, but there are still seeds whispering in the yard,
singing slowly those ancient secrets of Spring.
The blooms will wilt, as they are wont to do -
it is their duty to fade from trembling fingers’ grasp.
The petals will fall,
perhaps to be savored and saved for potpourri,
a scent that lingers long after the gift was given, and gone.
The mandates of survival require us to tend our gardens well,
to remove unwanted weeds
and thrust our hands into this daunting dirt -
our stems are stronger
than any wind that shivers through our lives.
There will always be more flowers to come -
it is only these moments alone
that are few, and fierce.