Sunday, July 09, 2006

"The Conservatory"

She loved Corelli and the strings
of Vaughan Williams, just as you,
Hobbema's landscapes with watermills,
and the fragrance of caraway thyme. She
taught you the joy of just-ripened Forelles
with slices of Wensleydale cheese and
chilled Gewürztraminer in the April sun,
and took to Marge Piercy's poems
as soon as you opened them to her,
especially the erotic ones you both
learned were truer than you'd imagined.
You took longer to recognize
why she insisted that you visit
the Arid Climate Conservatory
where, in heat that sucked you dry,
she lovingly showed you
the fishhook cactus, the thorn apple,
the cat's claw acacia, the African
fever tree, and the spiny whips
of the ocotillo.


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