Doesn’t it sing this way only /because it’s known the difference?…/ Remember it eats of brittle matter/long decayed; but also of pollen, nectar.

THE DIFFERENCE IT KNOWS

It has known the difference, known it well,
between the cold dark air and sunlit gardens,
and it will take them all in like bricks around
it, impregnable: she will mend these cuts
though they have run through. She will wince
but she will be new. These shards would not
hurt her. It has known the painful difference.

“Shall I walk you through my rose gardens?
Cup a blossom in your hands gently, beware
the guardian thorns, they are its sharp lances.”
It has known the canon of beauty and virtue:
where you are hapless, feign courage, it will
grow unto you like vines binding your broken
pieces, then sit you tall on a throne of roses.

—Albert B. Casuga
07-11-11