Bulb Field - Poem by Adam Fitzgerald
The poor man with anonymous face
Stalks the cut rows of flower fields
Where sleeping turf blurs into bland
Patches of sea-blue, chalk, blushing rose
Softer than the oleander anguish of blood.
He holds his rake like a lash of iron
Curling along as his whole body's ironed
Into the staid winds of the horizon's face.
What chases his skin, so devoid of blood
These years? Whom does he avoid in fields
Where no sun has ever set or ever rose?
The dark-musked dusk is nothing if not bland.
So the worn-rum thatched-roof homes blend
In dusk. Desolate homes blending like iron
In the forge's slate grooves where fire rises
On fire. But the homes are cold, unlit faces
Corrupted not how sagging shadow feels
But like the washed-out iodine stains of blood.
Quiet, the small walls show no sign of blood
Or fire. Quiet in a quiet light bound by the land's
Autumn-rich patina; the regal, rusty fields
Warped with flowers as upright as lead iron,
The gunsel or farmer wanders, firm, effaced
Among rainbow bulbs: peach, beige and rose.
Perhaps his tilting pace stirs for the lip of a rose
So flushed from shivering cold it glows as blood.
The flowers are as much the eyes of his face
As they are simply flowers, brilliant and bland.
Or are the flowers more alive, the irony
Of a scarecrow tilting flower-like in a field?
And now the warm faded flowers in the field
Quiver like a panting flag. Now the rows
Resemble city-blocks, the buildings not iron
But a vast complex of petaled rooftops blooded
By sums of invisible suns, their paints all bland
And monochrome, brittle dry pastels, no faces
Of iron-age citizens but a single giant who fields
And faces all the charming vacancies, who rues
His bloodless flower-city but prefers it bland.
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