®

Today's poem is by Michael Atkinson

The Holy Bloom

Let us not overestimate man.
Lilacs, for example, can buckle
the strongest knees.
If we're to pray, let's
pray to flowers.
Prayers fit for the florid openings,
palms of soft, rainbowed flesh,
which quietly run the world.
Everyone does their bidding.
We could crush them underfoot,
yet we plant them
in polite rows, for
their approval and the bees'.
How many times have they saved you?
The last time, this spring
as I stole lilacs from
the churchyard bush, was
the twelfth time for me.
Third time this year.
As a kind of payment, I've made
a missal of names:
chrysanthemum,
pansy,
forsythia.
Hyacinth.
Rhododendron.
What kind of penance
could you use before them?
Hell, I think when I'm drunker and
new to a field wild with paintbursts,
I'll become the first martyr,
St. Michael,
and right here I'll undergo
my ordeal by wild roses.



Copyright © 2002 Michael Atkinson All rights reserved
from One Hundred Children Waiting For A Train
The Word Works
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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