When torrid Summer’s greenery,
Its vibrant hues and spiced perfume
Lie far, fast-fading memory,
                            Your flowers bloom.

When all the world around you fades,
Dries up, and withers, seeing death
Approach in night’s increasing shades,
                            You breathe sweet breath.

When long, dark Winter’s icy blast,
Whose hints fly in the breezes’ chill,
Inevitably nears at last –
                            You flourish still.

Your colors, rather than exclaim
Like childish March or vain July,
Burn bold with shades of earth and flame
                            So modestly.

You brighten up a world that dies,
Reminding you what soon must be.
Your fate surrounds you: therein lies
                            Your tragedy.

And thus I love you most: despite
The futile lateness of your prime,
You dare to thrive in dying light
                            And shine sublime.

Adam Sedia

Republished with gracious permission of the author from The Chained Muse (October 2019).

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The featured image is “Chrysanthemums” from Album of Flower Paintings by Tao Rong (1872-1927), courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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