Rare flower

Rare flower

Rare flower soaked
           in the summer rain
the wind will outlive you
           your petals will wither
and fall and your dust
           will be a distant memory

though you hale
           from a proud corridor
of stars your beauty
           will not survive the season
of salmon rising

dragonflies will buzz
           above your head
indifferent to your charms
           and through the black night
you will feel abashed
           in the shadow of the rose

there is no wisdom in old age
           merely senescence
a paltry figure in a tattered coat
           as the poet would have it
bones that fail and eyes
           out of focus
a limp from day to day

of her he recalls
           how he penetrated the light
how she listened enrapt
           to his song of innocence
and how their hearts were lost
           in a tangle of limbs

rare flower in spring
           do not raise false hopes
do not long for love everlasting
           delight in the bed in which you lie
and know that time will take its revenge
           come what may

John Lyons


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