“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) The frost really did it this time, came and touched the tenacious flowers, made them wilt and nod their heads to say good-bye. It’s hard to see them wither, but now they won’t be needing so much of my attention. A few days ago, I pulled up the dying marigolds that had greeted me all summer long, every time I drove up the driveway. It reminded me of a poem I wrote after a fairly long dead-heading session toward the end of July. I hope it makes my readers smile, just like the marigolds did for me.
To Marigolds Mid-Season
I snap off your frizzled, faded heads
with a subtle crunch
like garden-crisp green beans.
As the last embers of a crackling fire,
your spiky seeds,
brown and black and beige,
splay out into the air
and float away.
Tossing another handful into the breeze,
I wonder where your offspring
will sprout next spring.
You stain my thumb a golden hue,
Line my nails with smudges of musky brown.
Even after washing,
the pungent earthy odor lingers on fingers and palms.
Not a scent
to delight my senses,
but your cheerful yellow spheres
brighten the landscape,
so I forgive you for that.
You are hardy,
and profusely bold,
yet humble with
I will bargain with you.
If I deadhead your brown crowns,
and deliver water you so savor,
please stay abloom
till your counterpart, the sun,
slowly slips down autumn’s sky.