First Published in Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose. Salt Lake City: LUW Press, 2019, pp. 112-113.
The flame rose hirer
And the sound of heat, gushed.
The button was pushed with fire
As the closed door shut, hushed.
The leaves unfold
As the paper burned.
And the crisping sound untold
through the centuries traveled, learned
A simple Herbological specimen
arrived in the collection of Louis XIII.
But kept from Australia, as dead men
Do keep their secrets, grave born still, 19th.
What Labillardière gathered so carefully
survived through the revolutions aim.
The World Horrors of 20th century passing merrily
yet, be so tossed into the consuming delights of flame.
Jardin des Plantes,
Tagged, boxed, shipped from bureau
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France.
Colhelper, No 71250:
Tony Bean, botanist,
Queensland Herbarium, Australia.
Asking des Plantes “where are my catalyst?”
the government answered sesquipedalia.
Olearia, flowering plant, Asteraceae family
Daisies and sunflowers alike.
To identify and classify, happily
Seed, stem, leaves, and pit to strike.
In the notes of a book now closed
the package of Australian history, embers.
In the oven of biosecurity, disposed
the job done, security officers unhindered.
The only comfort to centuries of dead gone by
an email, no sugar, no feeling.
Government empathy, thought, and lies
fingered the send button, bureaucrat’s willing.