At first we just say flower. How
thrilling it is to name. Then it’s
aster. Begonia. Chrysanthemum.
We spend our childhood learning
to separate one thing from another.
Daffodil. Edelweiss. Fern. We learn
which have five petals, which have six.
We say, “This is a gladiolus, this hyacinth.”
And we fracture the world into separate
identities. Iris. Jasmine. Lavender.
Divorcing the world into singular bits.
And then, when we know how to tell
one thing from another, perhaps
at last we feel the tug to see not
what makes things different, but
what makes things the same. Perhaps
we feel the pleasure that comes
when we start to blur the lines—
and once again everything
is flower, and by everything,
I mean everything.
From hush (Middle Creek Publishing & Audio, 2020). Posted by kind permission of the poet.