Today's poem is by Susan Firer

Common Name: Scilla
        Genus Name: Scilla
        Type: Perennial

Under the slingshot birches,
under the herring gulls' cries
the ground is thick blue
with the bright spikes of scilla.
John Gerard, author of a 16th century herbal,
wrote about scilla: "...small bleu
flowers consisting of sixe little leaves
spread abroad like a star. The seed
is contained in small round bullets."
Scilla surrounds the rocks.
The rocks are all intelligence,
are documents, lit in a way
we can see everything once we've been
completely lost. The scilla are
so beautiful; I always feel
rich when I walk on them. Always
everywhere there are rafts of broken and
flowers bright as headlights. The migrating
Lepidoptera have club-shaped antennae
and straw like proboscis. At the museum
I read that Lepidoptera drink animal tears.
Once I saw a man with butterfly horns.
For a while the sky memories us about
like primary-colored beach balls.
The trees give us dreams; they lay
down shadows dark with memory.
The scilla grow wild there.
The Welsh call scilla "cuckoo's boots."
Scilla are beautiful but poisonous.
In Europe red scilla was used as rat poison.
Today on his way home from Lake
Geneva, I asked my hsuband
to bring a malt-cup-silver pail full of wild
scilla for me to plant in our yard.
Sometimes on my morning lake run I do
the scilla mantra. Every time I step
down on the ball of my right foot
I say scilla. Scilla. Scilla.
The genus name for scilla is scilla
which means "I injure." Often I mantra
that: I injure I injure I injure

Copyright © 2002 Susan Firer All rights reserved
from The Laugh We Make When We Fall
The Backwater Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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