Closed Gentians
by Russell Rowland



Knowing neither their nature nor their name,
I begged the tight pods to open, and disclose

their essence. Having consulted a botanist,
however, I better understand such diffidence.

Faces have closed that way, faces once open.
Eyes have closed, some never again to open.

Canals of love have clenched as tight as fists.
Hands that clench into fists may not be held.

A tendon taut with suffering cannot relax.
Lips, compressed, refuse to answer, asked.





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