This is No Rose Garden

If this was a rose garden
One skinny flower
Would never be noticed

But in this yard
Crowded with brown grasses
Mushrooms and old stumps
Sand, gravel, rocks
And discarded cinder blocks

One dirt-covered poppy
Hot-pink and tattered
Can reduce me to tears.

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What I needed was
Another crisis
I can’t control

Little sores popping up on your legs
Like genocide in Darfur
Or protests in Bahrain

Outbreaks of conflict
Reminding me that good intentions
Never change anything
There are no actions I can take

I wonder if the beaches of Palestine
Are as pretty as your face
When I kiss you, I feel the warmth of the sun
But I keep watching for rockets

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(For the old man in the park)

A little bread, a little cheese, some wine
A perfume of pretty girls walking by
A road along which every waypoint is a beginning
A road that winds through grassy foothills toward distant mountains rising into the sky like elders attending to your first steps
Enough youth left to catcall this spectacular sunset
A few soft blankets
A little home

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Beautiful out West

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