A POEM OCCASIONED BY SPRING

29 03 2009

(Think ligustrum.)

BURGER TIME

The Rally Burger wrappings that lurked
On the sidewalk outside the campus
Catholic church entrapped me. I was bopping
Along in my usual April song
Of praise to the rank proliferative
Green glee of Spring, and to the rampant hedge
Whose annual frieze of flowers douses
The world with scent, as if we lived
For a month in a vegetable brothel
At the height of the shrub
Convention season, when stumpy
Sear-leafed madams pull out all the stops
To get the reliably-returning but aging
Leafy Shriners to rise to the occasion
And spend themselves and all
Their patient roots have worked so long to leach
From the cold soil and save —
When crinkled, grease-splotched paper
And a little house of blown foam
Spotted with green pickle-bits
Opposed the prow of my wide, sidewalk-faring
Ebony shoe, like Odysseus wakened
From lotus-eating on a torpid sea
To meet the most amorphous
Of his unsung adventures.

And I was left with nothing
But thoughts of shelter and my daily bread,
And tapes of mortgage
And car-note calculations unscrolling in my head.

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