Scarlet unopened, the buds of flowering crab
bleach out in sunlight, go pale pink and drab.
After the third day, the wind loosens the petals,
and one flutters to the grass and settles.
It works its way through grass down to the soil—
air and water rub it thin as foil.
Between each cell, oxygen convenes,
until the petal of itself is rendered clean.
It dissolves into pattern everywhere;
if grown again to petal it won’t know or care.