By Betsy Sholl
Each evening I believe in the everlasting and fear
by dawn blight will have crept into the garden.
But each morning there you are, watery blossoms
dripping from the lip of multiple green faucets,
a magicians trick of scarf after soft yellow
and orange scarf rippling from a sleeve.
How to name your layers of petalwork,
your shades of peach, apricot, lemon, goldfinch
labia its all right to look at? Again
and again your bright orange pods burst
into a bush full of canaries, each one singing.
Still, I cant forget that tyrants tend gardens,
Stalin ordered executions among bright buds
which continued to unfurl. Such fragrant treachery.
Or were they earths efforts to dissuade?
Clearly you have no ill will,
so if theres a judgment, and a witness is needed
to testify against us, let it be you,
before whom the only penance is awe.
Oh delicate teacups with so many rims
oh galaxy of florescent stars fluttering down
on the just and the unjust long into September.
[first published in Souwester]
Betsy Sholl has published six collections of poetry, most recently Late Psalm (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004). Don’t Explain won the 1997 Felix Pollak Prize from the University of Wisconsin, and her book The Red Line won the 1991 AWP Prize for Poetry. As of March 1, 2006, Betsy Sholl was chosen to be the Poet Laureate of Maine. For more information about the Poet Laureate, please visit her site.