Regardless of the year, it’s the first
flower seen on my daily hikes, pushing
through every November’s abandoned
duvet of tan and umber—a patchwork
of ash, oak, maple, and hickory. I pause,
eyelids unspooled, like a tired window
blind, and inhale the forest’s green
Willingly, this could be my last breath—
absorbing the effortless geometry
of these eight ivory petals, rising
from leaves mimicking round Japanese
fans from the 1840s.
How is it that small perfections can both
both break, and reassemble us— as
if we were Adam or Eve on day one
of the completed world— mouths agape
at finding the first flower?
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