The Poppies are Self-Destructing

The poppies are self-destructing. Scarlet petals
            spontaneously combust. The garden fairies

must sew their tulip skirts from real tulips and
            adopt pink and yellow pastel hues. Long poppy

stems fizzle like fuzzy matchsticks—the smoke
            mingles with the beagle’s bark in the crisp

April air. They chose to grow in the dog pen square
            amongst the plastic igloo and the crimson

Kong, long-forgotten chew toy grimed with dirt
            three months old. Few poked heads through

chain-link space to hear monarchs whisper on the boxwoods.
            Their leaves fester flames where stray sparks

dizzy-land. Floral explosions snap quick and concise
            like dragon hiccups, reminding neighbors

of illegal poppers, mementoes from the Fourth
            of July barbecue last week when Mrs. Martin

hollered for her husband—the Lowe’s weed whacker weighed
            too heavy for hands finely tuned to baby crowns

and glass pans for casseroles. But the cut would have to wait.
            The cul-de-sac demanded a round of croquet.

So the poppies have decided, in the face of inevitable end,
            to go out with a pop, rather than a bang.

Molly Greer is from Radford, Virginia. She is currently studying English and Creative Writing at The College of William & Mary. She is in the process of applying to MAEd programs.

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