Season Due

They are unforgiving and do not ask mercy, these last
of the season’s flowers: chrysanthemums, brash
marigolds, fat sultan dahlias a-nod
in rain. It is
September. Pansy
freaked with jet be
damned: it takes this radiant bitterness to
stand, to take the throb of sky, now sky
is cold, falls bodily, assaults. In tangled
conclave, spiky-leaved, they
wait. The news
is fatal. Leaf by leaf, petal
by petal they brazen out this chill
which has felled already gentler flowers and herbs
and now probes
these veins for a last
mortal volley of
cadmium orange, magenta, a last acrid flood
of perfume that will drift in the air here once more,
yet once more, when these stubborn flowers have died.
Rosanna Warren