Dry Desert Daze and Darkness
She walked along a pathway
in her arid corner of desert,
desolate, alone. She knew
that Oleander had been
planted here, sheltering
the rich and famous who lived
in rich and famous homes—
homes (now abandoned after
years of rainless days.)
These dense shrubs tried to defy
the drought. Tiny flowers
of pink, white, struggled, straggled
to survive between limp leaves
whose color faded more each
year. A rattler seeking sanctuary
from sweltering sun slithered
away to the east. Disappoint
ment surged in her soul.
And so she grabbed a handful
of leaves and buds, headed home
with bravado and brewed
a pot of tea large enough for the
digitalis compound to do its part
to slow her heart. Slowly, slowly
slowly allowing it to steal life from her,
the life she gladly offered.
When she sat to drink the deadly
draught, her Maltese pup
snuggled at her side, his chocolate
eyes begging for a sip.
A dark narrative poem for Bjorn’s Poetics Prompt at dVerse Poets. The Pub Master asks us to write a poem that has reference to a poisonous plant. It used to be that Oleander was used as a center divider on California highways and in the Country Clubs and such communities in the Palm Springs area as a privacy screen. It grows to be high and very dense. Every part of the plant is poisonous.