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77 Wendy Bishop Geraniums Pisac, Peru The clippings prospered in the dirt Where a careless gardener left them when they dropped. At wall's base the red mouths flared despite Their lack of roots: petals forming gamely in the dust, Rouge shadows to the parent plant branching high To shade the window of an empty worker's hut. Whoever came to clip and prune Took his tools and trailed downslope with them, Leaving only chaos where he'd been. And the blossoms in thin noonday sun Were as incongruous as Cokes hauled up By boys and sold among the ruins; occasionally Breaking one, they gathered to watch the moisture Disappear into the ancient ground While we studied the durable geraniums And thought of those who stacked the stones. ...


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