Marilyn Mashburn Lewis
Middle Age

How dare the cerise primrose
bloom under waning coral bells
as the garden finishes September.
This is the time of harvest
and completion, not brazen
display of deep pink with yellow-
starred centers, fragrant with pollen.
This is the time of turban squash
and the last chrysanthemums,
pimento peppers at the grocery.
This upstart, akin to winter-flowering
camellias in the snow, insists
on blooming out of season.
Beyond all reasonable expectations,
it opens to the slanted sun, scans
the wary honeysuckle leaning against
the porch, brushes off dry willow leaves,
ignores the pale verbena, opens firmly
when it damn well pleases.

© 1995 by Marilyn Mashburn Lewis

Marilyn Mashburn Lewis is a body-and-wordworker in Seattle; her poetry has been published in Dream Machinery, Passager, Birdy's Circle, and Atom Mind.