Feature of the Week – 7

Henrietta M. Dahlstrom
The Hibiscus
To observe summer’s extravagance
I bought a big potted hibiscus
for my empty front  porcha single blossom, dark pink coral,
and five overlapping petals that swirl
like a Flamenco skirt encircling

the stalk of a bright bold stamen
that thrusts up to flaunt five red stigmata
and lemon-yellow anthers heavy with pollen.

The flower lasts only a day.  It folds itself up
and falls off but by then another has burst open
and every day there is a new bloom

passionate and urgent, relishing
its short sumptuous existence

as I in my old age relish each day
as if I might fold up and drop off
this tender earth at any moment.