naturally we dry hydrangeas
all those mop-head pompoms
on the ancient hedge that keeps out
strangers like an overbearing mother
to the native sedge along the drive.
Naturally, the timing must be right:
late morning when the dew has dried
on a cool sunny day when blooms
no longer in their prime (not quite passé)
hint at new colors and a bit of stiffening like
paper in the petals gives a mild forewarning.
Catch it now
the ghost still breathing in the flower
whispers to a knowing hand—
strip off my superfluity of leaves then
stand me to repent in crystal water
so my cut stem grieves a bit
until all tears are spent
and I am all evaporated power.
COME SEPTEMBER NATURALLY