poppies

tonight
i realized
i never thanked you
for showing me
how to love
poppies

how they
sway like
girls’ upturned
skirts in
the wind

how bright
their petals
against LA smog
how satiny

how they
emerge from
buds shaped
like witches’
hats
like magic

i ought
to thank
you for that

for the bursts
of joy i now
get each spring
from every patch
of orange petals
i see quivering
in the california
breeze.

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