— after Roethke
I can’t uncurl crocus-like — my jaw doesn’t slacken
at the smell of bees or the clip
of oars through the Saginaw’s pre-dawn stretch.
Instead the constant noontime has made me
loose, a running-stitch meant to hold the hem
for later thimble-taut handiwork.
I don’t keep well. Can’t move from hothouse pot
to window-box because I’ve never
learned the thrift of hard winters — frugal tuck of leaf
and sun leaning. The Geranium survived
on alleyway scraps and shrieks, turned ashes
to compost in an alchemy of muck.
She still got canned. Let the litany of my petals
line your bin — I’d rather be that lonely.about the author