Poppies in the Berkshires bloom simultaneously
with monkshood, tall, slender, purple, and
deadly poisonous in every part: leaf, flower, root.
Known as aconite, monkshood is an ancient killer,
growing comfortably with its silky partner
whose juice brings dreams to poets, addicts.
Migraine is also ancient, responding unreliably
to treatment, individual in all it afflicts. I think
of my poison garden where I intended to grow
all the deadliest plants that flower,
just for the charm of it; never did I plan
to include poppies. For me, opium is a gift.
It brings release. When my head
wants to explode, implode, only opiates will calm it.
Sometimes. In my new town, finding my support,
whether for head or heart, is like planting poppies:
One miscalculation, one assumption about its leaves,
so like those of a weed,
the poppy plant is dead. Nothing left to transplant,
no crinkly petals or fat bowl after petals fall.
Only gory destruction of leaves, root.
Broken sensibility, nothing else.