They’ve posed an ersatz Narcissus
at the edge of a stagnant pond, but
from where we sit, only opaque sky

and the ruined cathedral’s arches
are reflected on its brackish surface.
If you could live here, wouldn’t you?

you say, entranced by the soprano
warbling in the narthex. I’m less
inclined. Although my glass is half

empty, the emperor moths alighting
on the rim have multiplied: the two
have become four to become eight,

sixteen, then thirty-two. Anything
that can, will divide, double and
eventually become a rain – even

bucolic deer grazing on the Ultra
SynLawn carpet. And look over
there: children in that cardboard

boat are waving bye-bye, tossing
their handkerchiefs, which change
into chrysanthemums as they fall.

Don Hogle

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