English poetry

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Field Thistle

Herb and spine,
The flat-fisted dream
Of stars and dew
Formed when he walked
With his telescope
Through grasses spotted
By the spit bug.

A raucous noise,
The dawn of great beauty
And he with his tripod
Matting the grasses as he walked.

I never saw him dead
On a bed of white down.
Never heard past
The death rattle,
And so, for me, he lives
There in the ragged, noxious weeds
That make up North America.

He with his freely creeping root system,
Milk-juiced,
The most persistent
Of all my fathers
On arable lands.


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Poem Field Thistle - Judith Skillman