I remember the seeds, and their slender pods—
that afternoon in March, cold and bright with sunshine.
How I fussed to capture them—lifted on the slightest breeze, carried effortlessly away.
Beyond the fields, still in the faded brown of winter, from their curling brick-red wraps tightly fastened to silvery bare branches, as winter held onto spring.
Beyond beauty, there was nothing more.
In my summer field, again I find it.
Blossoms hint of long pods forming,
blushing stems with white-veined leaves that bleed a milky sap--
like milkweed, though it’s not.
Beyond beauty, intrigue.
A beetle sipping from the dew wears every color in his jacket,
walks the leaves red stems support.
And I learn his name is Dogbane—
of this plant,
with seed so light,
red stems, white veins, and sap like milk.
Beyond beauty, finally, understanding.