Asters

A few leggy stalks,

still tall and sporting purple ruffs.

But most bow low, exhausted,

or loll about the lip of the vase.

April in the distance,

I am protective of this

store-bought spring, reluctant

to simply chuck them out.

Over breakfast, I notice

the bright trails of pollen

they've wept across

the polished table top.

I touch them with my fingertip,

gold-stained,

and take heart.

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