Salsify Blooming

The salsify bloom

opens slowly, carefully,

for a time its long sepals

partly shrouding the petals

like a tiny, green-striped

onion-dome minaret

through the spaces in which

purple shows. Then it spreads,

spoked sepals out wide

to protect the purple flower

that lifts a center with circlets

of yellow, pollen-thick stamens

to the feet and bellies of bees,

to the faint light

of the farthest stars.

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