A Time for Everything

“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

amber beauty.

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.