The Knowledge of Roses
by Kathleen Hellen
The tongue of the lily said, Trespass.
Ravish the hedges like sexual bees.
Tiger the gate.
How could I know then? At seven.
The handfuls I homed were forbidden. The noseful
of roses. The tulips I plucked for cup
and kind. The wink of the susans or
Queen Anne’s lace as lovely as snowflakes but
warm as the sand on a beach. Who had impeached
me? What neighbors complained? What chorus said,
Leave it to garden. To God, Little Eve.