An old, blind bard’s songs told us how
peonies healed an ancient god’s wounds,
but even a blind, old guy’s lyre
can please you with a useless song.
My mother just loved their loveliness,
said they were like puppy dogs
holding their heads up to smell and touch.
Peonies grow like barrel-makers,
capturing empty holes of cosmos
which fill with rain;
they tip their bloom-barrels of water
to the earth from which they came,
bowing their heads,
growing in gratitude.