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Camellia

                                    Barbara Hamby


This Professor Sergeant is like the brain
of a large bird, if the brain were a flower,
if the brain were red, cranium filled
with 217 petals, counted in melancholy,
especially dark being winter, being February,
with rue at its center, no French street
but not regret either, more wistful, wanting
the impossible, a rearrangement of time, a step
back to right some wrong, red some blue, take
this riot of hue, 40 bushes surrounding my house
like the Red Queen’s army, gorgeous, ruffled,
ridiculous, mockingbird nests in one or two.


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