O, why did you leave the garden, friend? Tell
us. Didn't we cultivate the flowers you adore,
their common names so unlike common ground —
milk thistle, pencil flower, mother-of-thyme?
Blessed thistle, sky pencil, creeping thyme…
Double names, double selves. One day I found
a wild flower in a cold, furious bed and tore
it out. I was gone. There's nothing left to tell.
— After Lowell
Tiny enamel spiral,
designed with exquisite art,
recently abandoned —
a snail's shell in the grass
catches the light at daybreak.
Overturned, exposed, vacant,
its coiled intimacy
has the ransacked air
of a refugee's home
the day after the raid.
to a thousand inclemencies,
the exile seeks shelter,
if only by building itself
another small stone prison.
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