What It's Like Being a Rhododendron, Getting Older

What It’s Like Being a Rhododendron, Getting Older

My form is fixed. I have new wood, yes,
but more is hard now than soft.
No one had to beg. It just went on, feeling good.
Flower after flower, happening,
almost without our noticing—except occasionally
the wind blew sun on us.
Parts of us felt exposed.
And we bred right there,
sinking deeper and wider around us.
It’s easy to miss, even while it’s happening.
Easy enough that the rest of the time
we can marvel at what gets made.