for Daphne

Daphne, still fleeing, her fingers
spilling laurel buds
(carved beads of ivory)

Daphne, surrounded
by lilies, surrendered
to meadows of bluebells, Daphne

tall among foxgloves
her wide-brimmed hat. Earth
under her nails, streaks

of oil-paint-umber, carmine, the true
azure of delphinium masking her
among foliage and stems.

Bored with vegetables, “when you
could plant flowers,” Daphne
not content, never

content with the merely
factual, her lilies
are models for the real, the immortal,

the ever-blooming lilies
that wreathe the faces
of her fierce loves. Daphne

stubborn and rooted, veined eyelids like petals, brown eyes
meeting the sun’s glare

does not allow wilting or fading.
Her passionate brushstrokes
will let no one die.