The worker hovers where the jade plant blooms,
Then settles on a blossom to her taste;
Her furred and black-and-yellow form assumes
A clinging curve by bending from the waist.

So, too, the sweetpeas, climbing on their net,
Cast wire-wrapping tendrils as they flower,
Nor need they shield themselves from a regret
Of the dependent nature of their power.

They’re spared the shrewd self-mockery of the sage
Attuned to limits and disparity.
They’re spared the sad mirth serving those who gauge

The gap between the longed-for and the real,
Who grasp provisional joy, who must not be
Desolate, however desolate they feel.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 6 Number 2, on page 47
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