by Josephine Moore

Petals, defying gravity
in life, strong in youth,
using water for bone
structure, open
with hydraulic home-grown
Mechanics. The delicacy
of pressurized blooms
is reinforced by dry
spells: arid soil
leaves weakened gardenry
To wilt as the flower-heads droop
to their weedless graves.
But harvest chrysanthemums
at their peak full-
ness, press them among plum
Pudding recipes and bible
verses, squeeze moisture
from xylem and phloem,
and they will stand
crisper than freshly-cut mums.