by Robert Lowes
My backyard flowers committed no crimes
last night. Begonia, foxglove, sweet william—
they’re innocent. Did gunshots in the dark
shake their blooms? If so, they’re holding
their ground. The red and yellow columbine
hang their heads. Their roots must know
what’s buried, starting with Abel and up
to the hopeless teens who spray the streets.
Maybe the columbine hear the bad news
through the rootwork from funeral wreaths
before they’re clipped off and heaped
on gleaming caskets to honor the bullet-ridden.
I rub a gnarled mint leaf with my thumb
and sniff it. The scent never lasts.
Last updated August 02, 2022