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Nov 232015
 

LadySlippers

by Lowell Jaeger

 

unmoved by mud-suck beseeching my feet

i dug the lady slippers

stabbing at the loam

hacking where rocks and roots joined

kneeling sweating

short of breath

 

tribes of ferns gathered

stooped like monks

boughs of the tallest pines hushed

clouds shadowed down

 

the ladies nodded helpless

chins bobbing above the bucket’s rim

as we bumped the rutted mountainside

back home

 

where i potted them next to the iris

watered and weeded them

till they withered

drooped

died

 

that fall i burned their remains

stood poking at my inferno

glimpsing the sum of cruel pleasures

the balance of my life might bring

 

each crisp leaf blade

singing flames