Reading about the catalpa, the phrase
escaped from cultivation brings to mind
the exultation of the fugitive felon
who cuts off the leg irons with a hacksaw.
When crossing a creek, he wades far upstream
to confuse the bloodhounds, pulling clothes
off a line and discarding the prison stripes,
living for years under an assumed name.

These new arrivals, the immigrants, the honeysuckle
and the tree-of-heaven, assimilate quickly.
Our yard is an Ellis Island for mimosas.
Waiting for permanent resident status, they back up
in the rain gutters and sidewalk cracks
until they become full citizens, building a better life
for their children here in the new world.
Pawlonias attain great stature from diligent toil,
rising to surpass even the gables of our house.

Having won free of the stultifying plot,
we transplants must live without the rake and the hoe.
Unwatered and untended,
our sole imperative is to go to seed.

June 22, 1997

<< PreviousNext >>

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home