The death of flowers

I would if I could choose
Age and die outwards as a tulip does;
Not as this iris drawing in,
in-coiling Its complex strange taut inflorescence,
willing Itself a bud again –
though all achieved is No more than a clenched sadness,
The tears of gum not flowing.
I would choose the tulips reckless way of going;
Whose petals answer light,
altering by fractions From closed to wide,
from one through many perfections,
Til wreched, flamboyant,
strayed beyond recall,
Like flakes of fire they piecemeal fall.

Edith Joy Scovell 1907-1999

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