Peonies as big as turkeys
protect in each blossom a

freckle of red like paint
flecked from a toothbrush—O reticent,

O most delicate clumsiness!—
that softens and elevates

early bright days of summer.
Late in August a hummingbird

poises at a peach hollyhock
eight feet tall, its faint-edged pale

house of flower, hesitating to
enter crinks of pink zone. I

gaze into bird and flower,
to inhabit the blossoming now.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 12 Number 2, on page 38
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