Botanical Pantoum

              They come into a store or café, heads bent slightly;
at their age, it's an effort to keep the spine straight.
              Still, they take pains  to look as they've always been.
Pay attention: you could imagine them petal-skirted, willowy.

              At their age, it's an effort to keep the spine straight.
But on one, a flowery scarf; on another, a stack of bright bangles.
             Look close: see them balloon-skirted, lighthearted, willowy—
The world still soft, uncrowded. No hard hours, children, lovers.  

             Sunflower scarves, bandannas; dark lipstick, stacks of bangles.
A book or cigarette in one hand; a languid flick of ash away. 
             Can the world be soft again, uncrowded with hours, children, lovers?
Sometimes they forget their names but not words for sound or color.

              Dark glasses, cigarette in hand. Flicking away the ash 
while leaning back in the front seat of a car, engine running.
             Who was in the driver's seat, what song was on the radio?
The road had no real horizon—it just seemed to go on and on.

            Lean back, have time for something delicious again; have time.
When they come into a store or café, their heads might nod slightly.
            When they speak, you might hear the deep voice of certain rare flowers.
Look close: imagine them bell-skirted. Uncreased or calyxed, willowy.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.