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Prairie Schooner 80.3 (2006) 51-53

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Honeysuckle, and: Hymn to Joy

Honeysuckle (Year One: Garden)

By day you could bear it, it somehow blent in or was mitigated
by the scent of its grander companions: the eucalyptus
who presided, unquarreled with; & cheeky geraniums;

the lavender whisper of stock, & stalks
of rosemary: afterthought, stuck
among the fishes & loaves of the phlox: maiden aunt;

so you could mooch along, morningly, watering, underwhelmed by its
kind of skinny greenishness, those not prepossessing blooms
it came forth with every so often: little eggy squiggles. [End Page 51]

(The major thrill, I have to say it,
was bougainvillea, cascading fuschia'ly, crème brûlée, in perpetuity, it
never even stopped to think if it

was in season or not: the Suzanne Farrell
of what we'd bought: a generosity unsought in my minor key
plantation;) but then it was April

& out from behind the journeyman ivy & K-Mart lantana vine,
fighting free, on their way to a messy divorce (even I
could descry it) came this luscious

hallelujah of smell
too big for the vessel
emitting it: crawling along

the top of a wall dividing us
from the contiguous: was this roilingness
indescribable but ambrosial, thuriferous:

Frankincense & Myrrh but even sweeter & fuller: vanilla & something
altogether else: our nights became unsleepable, our windows thrown apart,
& we lay there, inhaling [End Page 52]

Hymn to Joy

(Hermann at 90)

he approaches his lunch in the most
meticulous way: peeing first, he leverages self
down in the chair, provisional, we all agree, as loudly as we can,
at the table that used to be
for playing (folded up, behind a door); it's more
trouble than its worth, we say, that hegira from here
to the dining room, oh the coziness, yes, what gemütlichkeit:
delightful picnic for one, nicht wahr?
And so walker at hand, he spreads chutney on a donut
& wants to know what day it is & why
at night he eats
even less, & laments
over seedless grapes & consommé the decay
he tots up: ceramic teeth & skin so thin
it glows from within, the Amfortas shin
that never seems to heal; that try as he may
he cannot seem to die.
Oh what a lie. I sneak in
nights, & find him, baton in hand,
ferociously humming Beethoven.
Susanne Kort is a psychotherapist practicing in Jalisco, Mexico. She has been published in the Antioch Review, Northwest Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere.



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