Magazine April 20, 2009, Issue

The View

Mustard flowers at full bloom in a field in Awantipora, south of Srinagar, March 26, 2009. (Fayaz Kabli/Reuters)

The scarlet torches of crape myrtle
Crowd my window, kindled by the sun.
Their thick foliage blocks my view

Of all but the treetops and the sky.
I enjoy the flower-clusters, and butterflies
That visit here, green midges, and bees

That traffic in nectar and yellow pollen.
I might still learn economy or lore
From their abrupt, impulsive intimacy.

But I am jealous of the light that’s lost
To these gorgeous interlopers that began
Five years ago and twenty feet below

As blooming shrubs against the wall.
I remember the castle in a fairy tale,
Overgrown with brambles, trees, and vines,

Fallen under a curse, or witch’s spell,
Lost to the world for years, impenetrable—
A house …

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