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For Next Year

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Is it habit or hope

that compels us to the garden

each October, to the spent

heads of cosmos, marigold

and zinnias, patiently plucking

the dried seeds into a brown bag?

A wise old gardener showed

me the trick, how to pry

those papery flecks

from their nested pods,

store them in a cool dark spot,

safe from winter's touch.

Next spring, I'll fling them

into the garden, then wait

for the haphazard pattern

of summer to stir awake

their slumbering, brilliant blooms.


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