old man in his flower and vegetable
a saw whirring in the latticework.
Early echoes of the hammer,
plots of sunflowers,
marigolds and tomatoes
laid to the sky.
Hydrangeas and geraniums
that send up their signal
magenta and blue
on long green poles,
seducing the air.
Morning glories, kingdom
of the seed
and plant wisdom, ancient rituals,
these mnemonics of the earth.
And now for this botanist
who slowly drops to dust,
for this shepherd
who brings the small ones to himself,
we see a blaze of color
where Beauty opens, shows her love,
her small pink hands.
Valentine is a professor of philosophy at the Savannah College
of Art and Design. His poetry has been published in The Sewanee
Review, The Southern Poetry Review, The Midwest
Quarterly, Snake Nation Review, The Adirondack Review,