Thistle Ahead

Watching this summer's thistle draw toward a close, I thought of a favorite poem -- and of next summer's growth:

Are flower and seed the same?
What do the great dead say?
Sweet Phoebe, she's my theme:
She sways whenever I sways whenever I sway.
"O love me while I am.
You green thing in my way"
I cried, and the birds came down
And made my song their own.

— Theodore Roethke, Words for the Wind, 1958