My tulips came up and budded out in April when we had some nice warm weather. Then the weather turned cold and they stalled. These ones I rescued from the snow that threatened to crush and break their stems. They bloomed inside and were such a sunny, cheerful hit of spring I had to draw them. And this poem is the perfect description.
by A.E. Stallings
The tulips make me want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint,
Something about their burnt-out hearts,
Something about their pallid stems
Wearing decay like diadems,
Parading ﬁnishes like starts,
Something about the way they twist
As if to catch the last applause,
And drink the moment through long straws,
And how, tomorrow, they’ll be missed.
The way they’re somehow getting clearer,
The tulips make me want to see—
The tulips make the other me
(The backwards one who’s in the mirror,
The one who can’t tell left from right),
Glance now over the wrong shoulder
To watch them get a little older
And give themselves up to the light.