Every spring they manage it,
having endured another winter
below ground – and no telling which
will deign to show themselves:
variegated, red or black.
It’s just what they do, these bulbs,
these mines, these nubs that sprout
and flaunt themselves out of need
to get noticed and breed.
We are much the same:
hunkering down through
another cold season
until at a touch of sun
we’re out amongst the tulip clumps,
gathering bunches we’ll produce
like magicians from behind our backs.
So many high hopes ride
on the language of flowers
that we trust and the language
of words which we don’t.