by Mark Allinson

Last night I must have left the garden gate
Unlatched, for in the chill of autumn dawn
I woke, the yard shuddering—earthquake?
Friesian steers, their breaths fogging the air.
The lure of dewy lawn had drawn them in
After a long, yellow summer of dried hay.
Then, I saw with pain, it wasn’t the grass
They wanted—no!—but your billowing turquoise
Clouds of hydrangea! Flapping arms I chased them
Across the divoted lawn, bolted the latch
And surveyed the damage. Flower stalks stripped bare
As toothpicks! My dear, please forgive my careless
Error. Nothing can restore your ravished
Blossoms. But imagine how they tasted, cool
As sprays of blue snow after dusty stubble.