black, little heart of a poppy
i am a poppy in a sea of sunflowers, hidden beneath
the shadows of their bowing stalks and drooping leaves.
their faces, large and round, framed by drops of golden sun,
and my black, little heart encircled in paper of vermilion.
i am ill-fitted for this field, foreign in my own home
for though i am rooted here, i still belong alone.
i do my best to find my place: i paint my petals gold,
stretch my spine high and proud, and let my heart unfold,
but wha is cannot be changed, only covered with a veil,
and wishes cannot grant miracles when the stair is pale.
so i stay a poppy in this yellow ocean, garish and cruelly bare,
solitary and confined, not belonging anywhere.
out of sorts, out of place, i fear i will never be a part
of a meadow that can love a poppy's black and little heart.
till one brumious morn when the clouds stretch out thin
and the bitter cold of winter settles in the wind,
someone finds me hidden beneath these flowers of sun,
who severs my spine and lifts me between finger and thumb.
he judges me fair and takes me to an unknown place
where he deposits me in a turquoise, crystal vase.
"why have you brought me here" i ask the thief,
"to wither in a bottle? to wilt and slowly die in grief?"
"not to die," answers he, "though it is true that you will,
but you will show your beauty and worth before you wilt.
no one could see you under the shadow of those above you,
but here on my hearth you are seen by i who love you."
i saw the wisdom in the quiet words he spoke.
i had not fit before, but here i was whole
and while i was frightened, i knew this to be true:
it was better to die in love than to live in solitude.
even if mine was a momentary life cut brief,
i would hold it pecious and count it a relief
to have found that one who oddly
could love the black, little heart of a poppy.