The rose bush wrests a bloom or three
from dry sticks still standing, greening
now like the burning bushes out front,
early mountain irises borne from Georgia.
They struggle to return, but our mock
orange has mocked itself this week, just
the last few days, all those wispy petals
lying around their own beginnings. It must
have looked around, smelled its orange
forgery, shuffled its limbs like a dandy
Dorian seeking its basest base, months
before the wintry stark, and then, one mid-
morning in the aftermath of dew, began to
fall on me and my dog, flicks like breath
all white and drifting in the draft of our passing.