The Petals of Summer

By Marybeth Holleman

June 11, 2018

The Petals of Summer

They lie like bits of tissue on the bathroom floor rug, caught in the fibers; I bend to pick them up and see the yellow and pink threadworn veins, dry and broken and translucent pieces of geranium and nasturtium. Flower petal parts carried in on the soles of feet, bits I thank for summer’s beauty and drop into the trash. Outside, the deck on which they grew is bare and still, frozen and dusted with the season’s first thin layer of snow. Dead plants are piled on the compost, their pots stacked, garden chairs put away in the shed. White that gilds every twig and fallen leaf brightens the sky, and my room, all night a light sifting in the windows, keeping me awake, thin refraction of summer’s endless night. Seasons change but each holds in it the others, each reflects all the rest, same face turned another angle, same light falling, same colors pouring down from the sky to turn petals pink or yellow, petals I take from the trash and sow like winged seeds on the ground covered with white, covered with all the colors at once.

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