To Love the World
What can redeem “the addle and dross the hours devise?” Stone asks. One answer she provides here is “this carnal life,” whether manifested in human touch or in the “stroke of flesh and brush” on painted canvas.
Liliaceae, cousin to trillium, Solomon’s-seal
and bellwort, whose root, bulb, leaf and stem
are edible or medicinal; fodder for squirrel,
elk, deer, poultice for boils, anodyne for fever,
sting of bee and wasp, amulet to ward off
dizziness or croup—from the Old French
oignon, and the Latin unio, meaning oneness—
organism of obfuscation and trumpery
whose lavender blossoms deftly belie
the flagrant acidic breath that draws us
now, step-by-step, up from the river’s bank
to its grassy open bed. Siren of the olfactory—
most evocative of the senses—its leaves
bristle and flare, summoning to each of us
a summer kitchen, and in it, a mother, aproned
and dewy, weeping at her chopping block. . . .
But we are, after all, animal, and what seduces
here, in the shank of the day, is vegetable:
a booty we will dig for like dogs and take home
for our supper, a shill, a shindy, a caustic pearl.