CALIFORNIA POPPIES


Look at me, their hot orange shouts;
there is nothing this flagrant in the rest
of the garden. Little floozies,
they strip off their polyester petals one
by one, down to their bottle-green stems.
Odorless as methane in a mineshaft,
they come from California,
land of easy money and fast cars.
Jezebel would have loved their style.
After the bloom is off, their pods
coil, spring, fling hundreds of seeds,
pepper the hot wind. Watch your back,
your fingers. They burn.
~Barbara Crooker
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