Milkweed

by Jeff Oaks


Of the two pods left after the rain–

one empty, one still packed with feathers–

I cannot choose between. I take them both.

The one’s stalled seed silks are so delicate

I can’t feel anything when I touch them,

a series of desires, phantoms, angels,

beginning to yellow. All the dry rattle of September

lost, twisted free or matted now, 

it had its chance. It still has its chances,

I have trained myself to say over the years,

the stem stripped of everything green and beaten down. 

The open pod might after all be laughing, surprised.

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