And thank you also for the good advice

About my geraniums.  Nice of you to take

An interest, but really I’d rather

Not cut them back to the stock

While they’re still in flower.

I know you’re probably right when you maintain

That by now they should be dormant for the winter,

That if I leave them they will sicken,

Outgrow their strength and wither,

But it wouldn’t please me to take a knife

And cut back anything with such life in it,

With so much vigour

Still in the bud, such latent ardour.

Do they affront you being

So flushed with success,

Well fleshed, robust and flourishing,

So rampant, boisterous, shameless?

Don’t you admire their lushness

Or envy their rank prowess?

Would you not allow that it might be their nature

And even their pleasure

However mature,

To bloom so late, into December?

Wherever I look there is someone.

Practical, reasonable,

Waiting with a knife

To prune and punish the unseasonable.

Come then, plants, let us stand together

This autumn, against all who would

Cut back me and my geraniums

While we are still in flower.