Coleridge carefully wrote down a whole page
of them, all beginning with the letter b.
Guidebooks preserve our knowledge
of their hues and shapes, their breeding.
Many poems have made delicate word-chimes—
like wind-chimes not for wind but for the breath of man—
out of their lovely names.
At the edge of the prairie in a cabin
when thunder comes closer to thump the roof hard
a few of them—in a corner, brittle in a dry jar
where a woman’s thoughtful hand left them to fade—
seem to blow with the announcing winds outside
as the rain begins to fall on all their supple kin
of all colors, under a sky of one color, or none.
Reginald Gibbons, “Wildflowers” from Saints (New York: Persea Books, 1986). Copyright © 1986 by Reginald Gibbons. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
(Persea Books, 1986)
Poems by Reginald Gibbons