I never had much success in growing
these spiciest of flowers. The scent alone –
fragrant cloves – running through the garden
was reason enough to try.
On warm, humid summer nights
the scent is strongest and easily
conjures up images of a long ago –
Persia and a city called Persepolis,
a king and warrior, perhaps Artaxerxes,
walking pensively in his garden,
taking a moment's respite
before the morning's uncertain ride
into battle, staying the thirst of his sword.