"Poppy Love" by Martha Silano
You’re a yolk, a paper-thin pond at dawn,
anthers waving like anemones in a rising tide.
With your pineapple stigma, you and all
your sisters tigress the path to the sea.
Floppy hat for a sanderling, you hail from California,
land of mythology and gold. Impossibly common,
ubiquitous along back roads, you would never harm
an approaching katydid but serve as a parasol
for a semi-palmated plover. You’re the splotch
of mustard on Van Gogh’s palette, tint he transformed
into wheat fields, sunflowers. With your bronchial leaves
I remember to breathe, with your spear-like capsules
I’m reminded humans aren’t always kind, but flouncy skirts
give way to fruiting bodies. Your round black seeds persist.
Martha Silano is the author of five poetry books, including Gravity Assist, The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, and Reckless Lovely, all from Saturnalia Books. She co-authored, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Poetry, New England Review, and American Poetry Review, among others. Martha teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle, WA.
Headshot: Langdon Cook
Photo Credit: Staff