Today's poem is by James Reiss


Went out & scissored a lily, brought her inside
to study her fuzzy brown anthers loaded

with pollen, her needle-thin pistil & filaments
down to her ovary. Noted her sepals

were dotted with droplets; her waxy gold petals
were stippled with pigment, the comeliest rust spots,

like freckles on the face of a tomboy agog
in a tree house at twilight. Saw how, twice-dappled

with drizzle & beauty marks, she tilted a bit in her vase
toward my pencil as if she could lift to write

& tell me the checkered tall story of all things in bloom.
Saw two of her petals were nibbled—by a rabbit? a fawn?

Wrote how she told me she loathed the incessant devouring
mouths which would strip her & call her a woman.

Copyright © 2004 James Reiss All rights reserved
from Riff on Six
Salt Publishing
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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