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The dew on them *

Because Krokos was felled
before the bloom of youth
could fade or wilt,
by the ill-timed discus Hermes
hurled in love’s impulsiveness,
crimson saffron-crocus stigma
must be harvested at dawn, the fresh
blush of the dew on them,
before the farms drink early rays
through silken swathes of amethyst
as girls vie to be first afield,
swift to strip the prize that stains
their fingertips gold bled with red,
a million fragrant chalices
intensifying morning’s breath
for two hours till they close their lips
of lilac on the crimson threads.

                        * The saffron harvest, Macedonia, Greece