How jealous I am fragile flowers
of how you only arrive
once a year
how you are always beautiful
how you do not have to labour
on and on pink-fleshed at the modern wheel.
How ignorant you are of everything beneath you
of the effortfulness of soil
worms with their moon rakes
bent double like miners in midnight toil
the dung beetle rolling his ball
to the edge of the world.
Look down and see beauty costs the earth.
It is made of broken snail shells.
But you pretty flowers are not labourers.
Have you ever tried to sprout from a cold hard bulb?
Endured the underworld’s permafrost?
Seen miniscules of worms die?
Do you know the origin of minerals or miracles?
We are told they come from God.
They come from years and the bones of dinosaurs.
Do you know how many continents
it takes to make a flower?
How many extinctions?
How the rumbling of plague carts
served us before you were here?
How like you we come from many deaths?
I did not know you could talk or how
we have grown together.
I am amazed.
My widening eyes
are brimming with forbidden knowledge.
Then be beautiful in your petals for us
tread lightly on the dead
for these are short hours
of spring sun
before we cast our bodies
on the ground and are together again.