Friday, June 4, 2021

Rogue Rhododendron



A house-sized rhododendron

stalks through a village, planting

itself wherever it wishes.


Restless as a puppy, it uproots

after a few hours, replants

in the brightest light it can find.


You insist that I confront it,

but if the locals don’t mind

this frequent upheaval, why


should we? “It’s unnatural,

and surrealism’s out of date,”

you claim. I heft an axe


to defend myself, if needed,

and wander the streets till I spot

a massive flounce of blossoms


digging like a dog, spoiling

a distinctly cerebral lawn.

The householder stands safely


distant, his expression bland

as butterscotch pie. Approaching

the flora, I speak in tones


any plant should understand.

It seems to listen politely

as it settles into the hole it dug.


But its reply shivers through me

so vividly that I’m almost

persuaded to behead myself


with my otherwise useless axe.

Retreating a safe psychic distance,

I phone you to report that                                               


the flora is friendly but stubborn,

protective of its territory,

aware of its natural rights.


Its blossoms tinkle in the breeze.

It dozes on its boughs, tough enough

to strangle a full-grown man.


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