The Forced Forsythia


Even the florist if he dreams of force
(Dreaming of sudden fortune) is only dreaming.
His warmth, his moisture, must be love, of course.

Women, true, have been goaded by the gods
In guise of bull or swan. Still they lack power,
The very gods, to force a flower to flower.

A yellow any more yellow would dazzle eyes.
Loaded, bursting with it, the wands are bowing
While snow peers through the glass in cold surprise.


Robert Francis, Collected Poems, 1936-1976, University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.