IN A NAME
She’s lying in the hands of the Botanical Garden
unsure of her name*. No one could explain
where she came from. They knew that when
she strengthened after being dormant
for seven years, she exploded.
Gender uncertain, she grows with geraniums;
their soil keeps her moist and feeds her stems
and her five inch underground tube.
No, she’s not bitter because she cannot be defined.
A definition could diminish her. Her origins ask
questions even the experts cannot categorize.
I clap for her, applaud nature’s behavior,
force my hands to sounds louder and more intense.
I want to see her shiver from my praise.
*Arum Palestinium, maybe
—from Rattle #8, Winter 1997