This once voluptuous blossom, hibiscus
Double-petaled, lemon-butter bloom
Floated at its stem-end
Buoyant and nodding
Like the drift of a ruffled skirt
It hung just now
A shriveled pod of petals folded,
Heavy burden on its stem,
Soft and numbed,
A wrinkled, wadded crinoline.
Like a chance intruder on a private time
I saw the very instant of its fall,
Witnessed its silent break.
The stem swayed up and stilled.
And, severed, the faded head
Dropped softly on the soil,
Not yet changed at all, still tender,
Yet now forever changed,
Left to forget water.