Velvet petals, Nature’s womb
First rose of summer
Wipe the sweat from your brow,
Unfold the grimace from your stance;
You don’t need to work now
To earn what natural romance
Has freely bestowed
Upon the fairness of your frame.
You are, as I know,
A rose by any other name…
Are you aware of your impermanence?
Don’t you realize how soon you will be brown?
Do you care that your heart’s residence
Wears so temporary a crown?
Aren’t you afraid of your mortality,
Which stretches itself so taut?
Or do you simply live to bloom as well
As ever a rosebud ought?