Six yellow tulips stand obliquely
angled on cut stems, sucking up
clean water in a clear glass vase.
They seem to take for granted everything
their tulip ancestors once came to mean–
tulipomania, flower of great price–
seem simply to enjoy their being here today,
chalices raised sacramental to the sun,
opening this morning what they closed last night.
How would a tulip know it took ten years
to make its bulb from seed, or that it still
grows after it is cut and brought inside?
Being eyeless, earless, voiceless, without hands
to do the research, would a tulip ever learn
its name comes from the turban of a turk?
Only being is a tulip’s work. Being
beauty against gloom. After a long winter
being the yellowest, gladdest thing in the room.