California Poppies

These poppies, brighter than the Scottish broom, 
unload their blossoms, sweet as orange juice,
upon an April afternoon’s deep blues.
Each golden flower is a private room.
When northern California’s in full bloom,
the bees come for a snack, a bouche-amuse,
a plethora of treats. Which will they choose?
The seeds, like onyx lamps, hang in the gloom.
The gardener bends down, and quietly
she preens the glowing rooms; her gloved hands hold 
dried leaves like interlocking rings of mail.
As poppy season is unusually
short-lived, seeds tumble from a cup of gold
more precious than the Templars’ holy grail

About Taylor Altman

Taylor Altman is a graduate of Stanford University and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Mezzo Cammin, Salamander, and Silk Road, and her chapbook, Swimming Back, was published by sunnyoutside press. Taylor lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works for the Quest Scholars Program, which connects high-achieving low-income students with college opportunities.