Gwendolyn Soper

How to Sit with Petunias

There’s no need to explain
poetry to a child. They already know 
how to sit with petunias.
Constellation petunias, for instance: 
every petal a purple night sky full
of stars—whorls in the morning 
revealing themselves on porches after 
breakfast. I don’t have to ask a child
to pluck them—they’ll do it anyway— 
holding margins and profiles
against the rising sun to examine 
patterns, light and shadow, lines
and the funnel that draws them
closer to seeing fine hairs, to noticing 
how sticky the petals are, leaving 
residue that doesn’t come off easily— 
which years from now they’ll remember 
when they pick more petunias.