Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Afloat on their own reflection, these leaves
with roots that reach only part of the way,
will fall asleep at the end of summer,
draw in their skirts and sink to the bottom.



Though the corolla dangles upside down,
nothing ever falls out, neither nectar
nor loosening pollen grains: a thimble,
stall for the little finger and the bee.



Its green flowers attract only the wind
but a red vein may irrigate the leaf
and blossom into blush or birthmark
or a remedy for the nettle’s sting.



The tuber absorbs summer and winter,
its own ugly shape, twisted arms and legs,
a recollection of the heart, one artery
sprouting upwards to support a flower.


Michael Longley
from Collected Poems
Wake Forest University, 2007