“Corpse Flower” by Sonia Greenfield

Sonia Greenfield


In Memoriam James Foley

They’ve said that the jihadist
narrator spoke in an East London accent, that
the journalist in orange kneeled on the ground, that
he may have denounced America before
the knife met throat and cut back. I’ll never know
beyond what they’ve said on the radio
as I tune it to Morning Becomes Eclectic
meaning just music. In San Marino
after four years, the Titan Arum
is about to bloom, but you can call it
a corpse flower. I thought that it would look different,
the flower I mean. More like the enormous meaty
flowers of Borneo and less like a new monk stripping
away his purple robes, though they both
pollinate by flies drawn to the scent. Look
them up online. I won’t watch how the event
unfolds, yet I hold in my imagination
his mother’s hand hovering above the mouse,
cursor blinking over that play arrow, to say nothing
of its barbed end.

Poets Respond
August 24, 2014

[download audio]


Sonia Greenfield: “I’d like to think poetry can remind us that politics has a rich emotional life. Furthermore, whenever I think about the brutality of man, I inevitably think about the mothers.” (website)

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