There’s no need to explain
poetry to a child. They already know
how to sit with petunias.
Constellation petunias, for instance:
every petal a purple night sky full
of stars—whorls in the morning
revealing themselves on porches after
breakfast. I don’t have to ask a child
to pluck them—they’ll do it anyway—
holding margins and profiles
against the rising sun to examine
patterns, light and shadow, lines
and the funnel that draws them
closer to seeing fine hairs, to noticing
how sticky the petals are, leaving
residue that doesn’t come off easily—
which years from now they’ll remember
when they pick more petunias.
“How to Sit with Petunias” by Gwendolyn Soper
Source: The Hopper, Fall 2021 issue, 6.2.
Voetica, Berkeley-based site dedicated to spoken poetry. To hear the author read this poem, click here.