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Painted butterfly bushes
and permanent flowers
whose colors never fade.

Here, a panther can dream
or a child, even children
whose bodies time has aged.

Some verdant forests are
denied the waking and only
grow in starlight, real

or imagined. When you look
with your heart and not your eyes
you see a different truth.

—for CK

This poem appears in the collection Inner Planets: 50 Poems by Matthew Howard. Available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook.