7 October 2022 – Today I learned:

That I wrote this poem a few years ago, but I had completely forgotten about it.

This evening, looking for some gardening quotes, I opened a file in Google Drive called “Tell About Night Flowers,” thinking it was something I created to keep notes from the Eudora Welty book of letters with that title, which I’d read (some of it anyway) online over 2-1/2 years ago. Instead, I opened a poem I’d written in March 2020. I was happy to see it again.

Tell About Night Flowers

I don’t think it’s morbid 
to watch a strand of my drifting white hair -- 
removed from my shirt and dropped on the 
hot woodstove’s dark griddle -- 
wither to ash, to dust, or neither but 
more an absence of the little that was, 
leaving behind first a wiry trace,   
then nothing remains on the stove though 
I see yet a persistent shadow of its shape, 
and to remember that this 
is what it will be like for my whole body, 
including hair if there is hair left, and eyes, 
when the time comes. Earlier, 
I was reading Eudora Welty’s letters to her agent
and his to her about gardening, 
about camellias growing in February 1942 
in Jackson, Mississippi, the tender buds 
that if touched fell to the ground, bloomless, 
and her dream in April of an iris 
floating in front of her, emanating qualities 
like colour, form, fragrance in fainter and fainter 
images, trailing off into space. 

© M Wms 2020

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