Today's poem is by Linda Nemec Foster

After the War: Purple Flowers Spilling from the Windows

In Poland, the land takes over everything,
unrelenting in its mission to regenerate
after the war. Fields overrun sidewalks,
train stations, street corners. Purple
flowers spill from the open windows of houses.
Queen Anne's lace reigns supreme in parking
lots. Even the dead in cemeteries are affected:
no neatly trimmed grass here but waves upon
waves of wild flowers. Blue lupine, saffron,
black-eyed Susan, chicory. The dead love
this wildness growing above their bones.
"Tak, tak," they whisper in the hush of the wind
that scatters the soft gossamer of dandelions
into the waiting air. "Yes, yes, take over this place
that was once lost. Cover it in so much color
even the clouds, who've seen everything,
won't know where death lived for so long."

And who can argue with the dead? Not their
thin ghosts or unborn progeny. Not their
exile who returns after the war, stands
bewildered at their graves, hip-deep
in blue-eyed grass, trying to decipher names
that already belong to the earth.

Copyright © 2003 Linda Nemec Foster All rights reserved
from Amber Necklace from Gdansk
Louisiana State University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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