Foerster on Forcing

The reading of the poem benefits from the poet's note:

"A Pot of Crocuses": The women of ancient Athens celebrated the death and resurrection of Adonis in an annual springtime festival, during which they set out on their rooftops small pots of forced flowers. Because these "Adonis gardens" would soon wither under the heat of the April sun, the expression eventually was used to refer to any transitory pleasure.
With horticultural precision we enter the mythic.
the corms poke through the soil
like randy waking gods, their pale
phalluses swelling in the sun.
The narrator pivots from the flowers to observing a youth skateboarding who "slouched off / with raw, abraded palms toward home" and then muses upon gifting the pot of flowers to the mother of the skateboarder and thinks again of it — tripped up by intimations of ever-present mortality.
it wouldn't have been for any promise

of beauty I had to offer, nor any
incorruptible idea of it,
nor even the cherished terra cotta
I've buried and retrieved these fifteen
years. For how could I have looked
him in the eyes, not knowing which
of these must end up broken first?
The pathos comes through in the imagined presentation of the gift, earlier in the poem. It impresses the viewer with a mooted dialogue:
Here, take these crocuses
to your mother
, so she might forgive
the scarring a woman has to endure
to see a boy safely to manhood.
Instead, I stood there, wavering
with that crowded pot of spikes in my hands,
and knew if I had summoned him
it wouldn't have been for any promise
And so we cross over into the concluding stanza and its retraction poised on the impossible question of the first to fall when we have been made so painfully aware that nothing lasts.

Richard Foerster. "A Pot of Crocuses" in The Burning of Troy

And so for day 1488