Planting Poppies by Nancy Jo Allen

I open a mouth
in the early morning earth,
and remove a bedding
plant with care
from its fragile
plastic container
that protects roots
as tangled as veins
that feed human
bodies. I ponder opioids
that this beautiful plant
provides to terminal
patients. The plant
grows in fields
soaking in sun rays
like bodies on beaches
converting sunshine
to something useful;
narcotics act upon networks
of nerves, quieting pain
screaming for attention.
My hands close soil
in place and Gaia
swallows roots. I
think of Mother’s lips
closing around that last pill
pressed under her tongue.

# # #
Nancy Jo Allen is a Minnesota native who now lives in Columbia, Missouri. In recent years she enrolled in poetry courses at The Loft Literary Center of Minneapolis which has earned her publication in of Well Versed, * 82 Review, and Interpretations 4 and 5 a Columbia Art League project.

Photo: Anja

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