Peonies, by Barbara Crooker
The peony on the left speaks:
So what if my leaves are starting
to droop, and my stems have turned
the yellow of old newsprint? True,
I’m stuck in a vase, but I’m saved
from the vagaries of wind and weather.
Hail’s sharp comments can no longer
cut, and sun’s hot stare can’t wilt
my blooms. No sudden storm
will drench my petticoats,
drag them in the dirt, and ants can’t
have their way with me, caressing
where they will. Now
I’m in full array; my perfume
colours the air, trailing ribbons
and silk scarves. I’m an implosion
of ruffles, a can-can dancer
at the Folies Bergère.
Tomorrow, my petals will litter
the table. But today, it’s May,
and the cafés are open. Let’s sit
in the sun and drink kir royales.
You know you want to touch me.
I know I want to dance.
This poem is from Barbara Crooker's book, Some Glad Morning (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Poetry Press, 2019).
Barbara Crooker is the author of many books of poetry; The Book of Kells and Some Glad Morning are recent. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, The Poetry of Presence and Nasty Women: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. www.barbaracrooker.com
5/11/2020 04:59:51 pm
Just a gorgeous poem! What craftsmanship!
5/13/2020 11:54:24 am
so wonderful. I can almost inhale the fragrance. I'm inspired to go right to a nature preserve, and smell some peonies and try to emulate them in a drawing.
5/19/2020 10:35:28 pm
The switch from You to I in the last lines is magical, and well earned. Lovely.
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