Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
print version

Florida Funeral

I have decided you’re a paraquat.
You’re something of an herbicide that kills
Tussocks, but, more often, the twat
Of white blossoms and sweet navels. The rills
Are ill with your quick toxin. Still, the thing
Saving you is soil’s stability:
The ground of our aged nation and its wing
Of its American Kestrel, its bee,
Its gecko’s eyes. You cannot harm those black
Pupils. You lie, downed, indolent, inert,
Failed friend of homicide, a coronach;
You caused a Florida Funeral. It hurt
Me like the Texas kind—a seeming death
So premature: a newborn’s first–gasped breath.  end

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