The naked ladies huddle past their prime –
their petals flag like ribbons on the stilts
that leafless held them half a summertime.
Their color loud as lusting cats, they wilt.
With tops of white, the crinum stand like men
no longer young; their heads begin to nod
to naps, but still they’re near as straight as when
their rigid stems erupted from the sod.
As vain as belladonna, open-eyed
and noting nothing, colorful and dumb,
fastidious as lilies in the tide
of August heat, without aroma, some
suggest and more assert but most display
their passions, quick, before they fade away.