By Ronnie Sirmans


         From Moore’s Gardening, 2016 annual catalog:
         Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Rain’ (vibrant from
         midsummer to early fall. hardy. bloom color:
         royal purple. 50 per flat. $39.98) 


I won’t wear purple as an old man.
Instead, I say purple is for growing,
dependable garb after the cold
has dulled the air and landscape
to grays while the bitter weeds
have managed to break through as
the good garden instruments paused.
Then things warm up, and when
things get really hot around here,
on the sunned expanse appears phlox,
the purple amazes, it gets creative
and sometimes creeps this way,
other times that way, its choosing.
And when I think this bright world
is all in a full splendored spectacle,
time will again creep up on me,
the phlox absent, the frilled petals
that will leave without an encore.

Ronnie Sirmans is an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His poems have appeared in The South Carolina Review, The Behemoth, Gargoyle, BlazeVOX and elsewhere.