Don't tell me we're not like plants,
sending out a shoot when we need to,
or spikes, poisonous oils, or flowers.
Come to me but only when I say,
that's how plants announce
the rules of propagation.
Even children know this. You can
see them imitating all the moves
with their bright plastic toys.
So that, years later, at the moment
the girl's body finally says yes
to the end of childhood,
a green pail with an orange shovel
will appear in her mind like a tropical
blossom she has never seen before.