Poem #4


I felt a pinch in my palm:
a rosebud sprouted
from my life line.

Its sepals clung together
like a trembling suit of armor.
I understood; my palm
was unfamiliar soil. I fed it

drops of sunlight, sang it to sleep,
and every day drank
a glass of water to keep it hydrated.

I found a book on the rearing
of palm roses, which advised
living one-handed,
a spoonful of honey,
and lots of spinach;
instead of the organic stuff,
I took iron tablets.
I was no Popeye, but still

the rosebud bloomed. A ripe,
lemon yellow, and its beauty drew
a crowd. I stood offstage, left
arm extended under the light,
bearing the lactic acid burn.


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