Paeon, physician to the gods
and former student of Aesculapius,
cured Hades and Ares, wounded
in war, with a tincture
from peony roots. I remember his story
because I've been looking at plant
catalogs online, and all the glorious,
frilled peony varieties: Bowls
of Beauty, First Arrivals, Pink Corals;
but I learn it isn't the right season
for putting bulbs into the ground.
I learn also that an asteroid
the size of six football fields
did not crash into the earth two weeks
ago; but that murder hornets have made
their way to these shores. A man
out west reported coming upon
thousands of honeybees dead
in the hives, their heads
hacked off their bodies.
On the other side of the world,
a journalist has just
been convicted of a crime, since writing
to expose the truth is now apparently
considered a crime— In what other universe
apart from ours can a law be enforced
to render an action taken before
its enactment suddenly illegal?
The catalog asks me to enter
my zip code, and says it will ship
bulbs of my choice but not
before it is the right time.
Meanwhile, what can we do
with our dreams of justice and light
but bury them in the loamy dark, and wait?

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