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.