White Velvet

White velvet petals, modestly 
moist, rest on dark jade leaves 
giving their magnolia fragrance to the 
warm summer morning. 

Browned bodies of jade, servants to earlier
blooms, lie aground in surrender 
& supplication to reigning beauties. 

These seasonless leaves live in anticipation,
await the appearance of the buds they ache to serve,
enhancing the display of each bloom as it swells
to its peak, only to fall at the feet of their successors,
browning among the leaves.

This ritual, redolent, languid yet attentive. 
Faithful love undone limb by limb, 
leaf & bloom. 

—Martha Ward

—Photo by Dennis Fagan

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