By Abby McBane
The time has come to fell the flowers;
It’s autumn now, the summer’s bounty waning.
Outside I go, in the late morning hours,
To do the deed, a buoyant manner feigning.
Butterfly and bee fulfill their merry task
Of going back and forth between each bloom.
Do they see me? If so, they do not ask
Whether I come to bring the garden’s doom.
Carefully, I snip the laden stems,
Some slender, under weight of just one bloom,
Some thicker, burdened with many gems.
They fall, plume after flowery plume.
A fluffy, snowy butterfly comes nigh
To rest upon the blossoms freshly cut.
Among the elder flowerets, buds I spy,
Their close-furled petals soon forever shut.
Most of the flowers already are dying,
The leaves so crisp, crunchy, and clear;
The plants are calling to me, crying,
“Don’t mourn us; we will return next year!”
My ruthless task is ended, I am done;
The stalks lie, soon-dead flowers flash between.
Butterfly comes forth, drinks from a prostrate one,
A relic of what latterly has been.
Each remnant flower is still glowing.
My heart is warmed to this bouquet.
My summer memory of their growing
Paints a picture as bright as they.
I look once more across the landscape riven;
What stood there lately is now gone and dead,
But it speaks to me, an insight given.
Are we not like the flower bed?
The grass withers, the flowers fade,
Quick to live and sooner still to die.
We are God’s creation that He made
And for His glory live—both them and I.
I retire within, saved blooms in hand;
The rest are gone, but I’ll not mourn in vain.
I am glad I saw their colors grand,
I am glad that they will sprout again.