The world is an
aggressive place. World on the march.
In the garden, purple ajuga puts out
its feelers, runners, roots;
colonizes, won’t look back. What is
breath? In a light-bombarded
room: Noise. Roofers pound.
Tree clippers buzz. Snowplow scrapes
the street, preps for
paving. Opaque, sightless
trucks beep, back, push. Look out! Let nature
take its course: Let the sperm
win the derby, make Alicia
pregnant. But not the melanoma. Men in dark
suits jostle, shoulder, elbow,
will not yield space. They will
go to the wall. Military persons. Save
Paul. He is 24, 6’ 3 ½”. He grew
yesterday. Every cell shimmers,
but not the malignancy. Dark splotches
under a chestnut tree on a
cloudless July day.
Not motiveless. Save
Paul. Look back, ajuga.
This poem originally appeared in Northwest Review 43:3 (Fall 2005) and later was reprinted in In the Truth Room, Northeastern University Press/University Press of New England, 2008.
Dana Roeser is the author of two books of poetry, In the Truth Room (2008) and Beautiful Motion (2004), both winners of the Morse Poetry Prize and published by Northeastern University Press/University Press of New England. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The Iowa Review, Harvard Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, and The Southern Review, and on Poetry Daily. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, and teaches in the MFA program at Butler University.
Indiana Humanities is posting a poem a day from Indiana poets in celebration of National Poetry Month.