California Poppies

Selective photo of california poppy flower

Do not ask when
we will open, our blooming
like tides, cannot be hastened.

First, pepper-like seeds
proliferate, sprouting
lacy tufts for leaves.

If we seem as weeds
where there was once lawn,
don’t pull up. Wait.

These petals will unfold
like crepe paper cups
each holding a golden sun.


Poem by Nicole Zimmerman

Nicole R. Zimmerman (she/her) holds an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco. She was a 2019 recipient of the Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary Artists, produced by Creative Sonoma and funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts. Her poetry has been published at The Dewdrop and Birdland Journal. Nicole lives with her wife in Northern California where she leads creative writing workshops.