Treasure Island

AM Juster

(1956 -)

Against Roses


A long eugenic past
reduces roses to
a vain and pampered caste.

Their charm is artifice,
their fragile shell of cells
unfit for wilderness.

Their languid symmetries
and anorexic airs
exalt deformities.

A run of blossoms, thick
and tangled by the road,
displays a truer pick.

Prefer the bindweed vines
that cannot stand alone
yet clench the mossy spines

of trees and grasp as tight
as nightmares or disease
while hoarding hints of light.

By cloning a delight,
obsessing towards some form,
we dull what should excite.

A rose bouquet contrives
to label wordless joy
when nothing true survives.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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