Naturalization

This is a response to a prompt to write a mirror poem, in which the second stanza is made up of the lines of the first stanza in reverse order. Punctuation can be altered, but line breaks, words, and word order cannot. It’s not as easy as it might seem at first glance!

My garden in Georgia was almost entirely exotic tropicals that I kept as medicinal plants for the traditional healing I was taught. It didn’t take the pollinators long to decide they were just fine for dining.

I’m happy with how this came out — the first verse about the confusion of things alien to one another meeting, and the second about those alien elements beginning to blend into something new.

Naturalization

The flowers draw curious fly-overs,
Alien though they are to this place
With its lingering smells of chicken frying in lard
And greens simmering day-long on the stove.
The bees bump drunken into me, awash in frangipani.
I catch them on my fingertips and right them,
And they careen into butterflies just as besotted.
Hummingbirds dip and veer over exotic nectar-puzzles
As I fall back in the grass and inhale a distant island.

As I fall back in the grass and inhale a distant island,
Hummingbirds dip and veer over exotic nectar-puzzles,
And they careen into butterflies just as besotted.
I catch them on my fingertips and right them.
The bees bump drunken into me, awash in frangipani
And greens simmering day-long on the stove
With its lingering smells of chicken frying in lard.
Alien though they are to this place,
The flowers draw curious fly-overs.

(2016)

(photo: Wikipedia)

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