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We cluster, we clump, we give off
the white-hot honey of distant stars.
Invisible fingers are always stroking
our feathery body.
We take hold of life like children
born to a beautiful mother,
who know this earth has always been ours.
We hang on, we congregate, we thrust
through fence railings with green reaching tendrils.
Scientists speak of climate change,
toxic gas, rising seas. Yes,
the oceans are heating up. Yet,
amid ongoing disaster, some woman
years ago, planted a mess of us
from little starts in plastic pots.
She didn’t know what she was doing
as she knelt and dug small holes,
plopping in delicate
dirt cupcakes, each one topped
with a jaunty green hat
and sprig of blossom.
She was absent-minded and forgot
to water, so it took years, but we were tough
with the toughness of the ephemeral,
and now we’ve grown into our own
a wall of starry scent,
a monument to those invisible
explosions that occur
wherever beauty drops her handkerchief.
Copyright 2020 Alison Luterman. From In the Time of Great Fires by Alison Luterman (Catamaran 2020).
Alison Luterman is a poet, essayist and playwright. She lives in Oakland, California.