ELEGY TO AN ORANGE IN PHOENIX, OR A MODERN WOMAN
Fooled, briefly, by its own blossom
Into believing it belongs in the barren
World it was brought to and has sought to
Make its own, the winsome
Thing lifts and cocks its slight heron
Head through a soft slipknot of
Dust and loose clay,
And grows, taking warmth into itself
Certain that the seeds
It was born with will infallibly root,
Whatever the soil coating the earthy shelf
They find themselves (and their needs)
Upon. It is easy to impute
Kindness to a warm day.
Ripe fruit is a treasure if it is scarce
And if warmth passes, but in easy days
It is merely a change of color.
The sweet thing falls on sparse
Need, and lies alone on the clays
Of a strange land, where rats gnaw her
Pips and slink away.
Precious poignant thing!
Like the petulant, matchless rhyme it is
At the end of a fruitful line –
Who will catch it gently, this beautiful excess
Which, like the Plague,
Now even the swollen rats regret?