Peonies by Mary Oliver
This morning the green fists of the peonies
are getting ready....
and they open--
pools of lace,
white and pink--
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again--
beauty the brave, the exemplary....
and [you] fill your arms
with the white and pink flowers,
condensed by me
This week's market flowers were peonies.
Just cut, still dewy, buckets and buckets of tight golf ball-like buds.
''What are these?'' I murmured to myself, "Pink? Or..white?"
I am very partial to the peonies that are so pale a pink, like the inside of an eggshell, so pale they perhaps are truly white...
a favorite painting, by John Singer Sargent: ''that magical transient moment that lasts no more than a couple of minutes most -- ''
Since it is called Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose...I suppose the pink flower are not peonies. But I always thought they were....( and I am guessing the child is very happy she was not named Peony!)
The little golf balls burst into bloom overnight, before I could take their picture.
And they are white, creamy, pearly, perfect white....
with buttery chartreuse inners.
So very sweetly scented, who knew?
And so fragile.
Will they last through the day?
Or like the day's one brief instant of springtime, will they be gone?
I saved the petals. I gathered them in my old white colander, for potpourri, for stuffing into hearts. I hope they dry and their delicate perfume lingers.
gone to the beach.....
link for more backstory on the Sargent painting: here