Robert Ronnow
                                                             Brother Death

                        To Fail Well

Fowl meadow grass–Glyceria striata–the striations
on the lemma. Drooping rachis
a weeping willow of a grass.

Recurring periwinkles, myrtle, Vinca.
Helicopter petals. Evergreen leaves.
Escaped from gardens, alien or native?

A little further by the spruce stand
a new mustard, cuckoo flower–Cardamine–
with pinnately compound leaves. What a find!

A good day turns bad.
After you've died, one of them dogs digs up your grave.
You may sit in the rain and think.

Maiden pink.
The dark circle inside the flower
a g-string or garter.

O to fail well. To lay low. To live long.
To run slow. Feel the hill. Pressing down.
Do less. Until one thing's done well.

Copyright 2001 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.