The leaves come on, first wine red then fleshing green. Spring flowers long since withered, left bulbs for new growth in a year. Hot air rushes over the thick leaves. Hail sometimes pounds them. They hold fast, knowing strangers would not guess at the fragile petals to come.
Wine-colored beads erupt into glorious ruffles! The sun shines through them, chastises their beauty to rival her own. But even these do not stay eternal.
Days of late summer stretch into early fall, and every day is crowned with color and rained with crepe myrtle confetti.