For Next Year

Is it habit or hope

that compels us to the garden

each October, to the spent

heads of cosmos, marigold

and zinnias, patiently plucking

the dried seeds into a brown bag?

A wise old gardener showed

me the trick, how to pry

those papery flecks

from their nested pods,

store them in a cool dark spot,

safe from winter's touch.

Next spring, I'll fling them

into the garden, then wait

for the haphazard pattern

of summer to stir awake

their slumbering, brilliant blooms.

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