petal beds below

I cannot speak
the name of the flowers —
large purple silk bowls
filled to brim with fragrance.

My daughter picks them
from their home on the tree
beside our house —
brings them in to be held

in crystal vases filled with water.
By the second day they
are dropping petals heavily
from stem to table. A slow

emptying of the bowl until
all that remains are
spiky pod-seeds on stems
rising from the petal beds below.


Originally published in San Fernando Poetry Journal, 1998.