Long before her roseal flesh
Unfolded to the sun,
The fertile soil and verdant, fresh
New plantlet met as one.
Married there in secret places,
Husband earth and seedling wife,
Their union spawned the infant traces
Of the petal’s life.
From root to shoot and shoot to stem,
From stem to blossom rife,
The petal’s hidden glories prim
Within the bud did vie.
“What shall she be, Persephone?”
Inquired the April rain.
“A leaf, a thorn, heather, tree?”
“A petal,” the refrain.
“A petal only?” laughed the sun.
“A petal only, she?
A petal only, only one,
One lonely petal, she?”
“One petal,” said the morn’ azure,
“One petal, that is all.
One petal, but she will endure
Through spring, summer, and fall.”
“One petal? How shall she withstand
The rolling thunder peal?
The fierce and blazing lightning strand,
The dark and stormy gale?
“And when my gentle golden eye
To brass in Summer turns,
Beneath the cruel, rainless sky
Will not the petal burn?
“And what of Autumn’s early chill?
Then humbly she must bend
Her fragile head before the will
Of Winter’s cruel wind.”
‘Twas then the petal op’d her breast
Bare to the boasting sun.
“Touch me here,” was her request,
“And let the deed be done.
“I will dance to thunder’s rhythm,
Pirouette within the gale,
Taint the vengeful lightning crimson,
With my lucid porphyry veil.
“I will grace the summer’s rancor
With a lovely crimson face,
The burnished plain I’ll color
With a chain of rosy lace.
“And when fair Autumn’s presses
Tread the fields and crush the grape,
I’ll unfurl my scarlet tresses,
And its golden shoulders drape.
“Alas, I trow, this truth I know,
Winter’s wardrobe must be worn,
Yet I’ll bear its snowy halo
Like a queen with crown adorned.”
With this the petal ceased her song
And quivered with the wind,
Then kissed the dewy ground among
The thorns where she did bend.
Nature's brazen voice grew silent,
In obeisance to her will,
In humble adoration of
The petal blooming still.