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web | The Sun Is but a Morning Star
A flower in a weedy field
make it a poppy. You pick it.
Because it begins to wilt
you run to the nearest house
to ask for a jar of water.
The woman on the porch starts
screaming: you've picked the last poppy
in her miserable garden, the one
that gives her the strength every morning
to rise! It's too late for apologies
though you go through the motions, offering
trinkets and a juicy spot in the written history
she wouldn't live to read, anyway
So you strike her, she hits
her head on a white boulder,
and there's nothing to be done
but break the stone into gravel
to prop up the flower in the stolen jar
you have to take along,
because you're a fugitive now
and you can't leave clues.
Although the story's starting to unravel,
the villagers stirring as your heart
pounds into your throat. O why
did you pick that idiot flower?
Because it was the last one
and you knew
it was going to die.
© Rita Dove
© E-publisher LiterNet, 21.11.2010
The Sun Is but a Morning Star. Anthology of American Literature. Edited by Albena Bakratcheva. Varna: LiterNet, 2008-2010