Courage


It takes some courage to eat a legume's fruit
knowing what is known of each poisonous part
of the locust (although the flowers may be frittered).

What's pushing up through the leaf litter
before the canopy is out, past the stone fence?
Wild lily-of-the-valley is my guess.

Of 140,000 soldiers, less than 1% have considered
the fruit of the desert surprisingly good and varied.
They have stayed and married women who are crows.

My own land is a land of wetlands but we too
have crows. We have waited and waited for this election
and now we're divided into just two factions.

If everyone votes and every vote's counted there will be
nothing for either faction to crow about. All will be
well with the republic and in the world what will be will be.

What responsibility does a citizen bear
for participating in a war, blowing the roofs
off houses, exposing the beds and clean-swept floors?

Warriors at the gate, you will not run,
you will not bargain. Dig in deep, feet
overhanging the abyss, protect your children.

I poured water into the dry vase of garden cultivars–
snapdragon, phlox, bigonia, bluebell, mint–
and have they not rewarded me with their collective scent?


Copyright 2007 by Robert Ronnow.