A flower spirit blooms by a laughing stream,
surprised that his other yellow fellows still
sleep. He counts his petals to pass the time,
stretches in the sweet black dirt, and clings
to giggling moisture from the stream.

Each spring the flower lowers his hopes.
More and more of the others sleep, bored
and unbothered, until one day—this day—

he blooms alone.

“Don’t be sad,” laughs the stream to the dour,
drooping flower. “We can be a team,” she beams,
reflecting disparate spirits of light—each a joke
or anecdote about how wonderfully wet the world is.

The flower flares his blue hairs in tune with his new
friend’s sparkling bubbles. Though his hair fades
with the recycled age of his spirit, his heart still longs
for love. The stream is a kid to the woods: offspring
of a brainy river and fervent drops of potent rain.

“You color my days,” she purrs one night
while the flower is lightly dozing. “And you,”
the flower whispers, “throw light my way too.”

Through the summer months the stream’s mist cuddles
the flower’s petals, seeming to hug without touching
him. The dry days tug her toward the sky. The heat
rasps her laughter and evaporates her drops.

One morning the flower wakes and finds himself alone.
“Stream!” he screams, yellow petals wilting. He shivers
and shakes, searching the snow, finding frozen, cracked mud.

The woods are empty.
The sky is pasty.

The flower’s brown petals blow away in the silence.