The way they shade from milky celadon
to indigo, the summer afternoon blue
of them, grounded tugged-down cumuli.
Their swaggery mob-cap profusion,
the generosity with which one or two
will fill a vase with hue and height.
For how they bundle in either sea-wind
or drought-prone suburban garden.
Both elegant and humble, armful
jumble of secret place, nesting ground,
lace-trimmed lingerie or vintage tulle.
Even the autumn hulls of them,
how easily they wither into tender beauty.
For all these reasons, I stand at the window
and watch my neighbor’s hydrangeas
in early June, full-flower moon blossom,
and forget if I’m child, breast-budding girl,
or middle-aged poet with thinning lips—
all of me living, sun-smacked and glad.