Mary Makofske

In an Unnamed Country

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from Traction:

In an Unnamed Country

In her haste to salvage what she could,
some flower vendor must have dropped
this tulip on the pavement near the curb.
Or husband bearing from the florist shop
an anniversary bouquet, as those first
shots were heard, was jostled just enough
to loose one flower, now the only color
after rain has washed away the blood.

The few who slink beside the buildings
will not stoop to lift it. A tulip
can’t be eaten, can’t be fired. How did
these yellow petals and this fragile throat
escape the heels of panic? It still breathes
as in a meadow, waiting for the bees.