Velveteen bayonet we call
mullein, what does it take to endure?
One hundred thousand seeds, plus
one taproot, siphoning silence.
Mullein, what does it take to endure
for the body, as living wick—light,
one taproot siphoning silence,
the felted rosette’s roaming candle.
For the body, as living wick, light
one hundred thousand plus seeds:
be the felted rosette’s Roman candle.
Laurie Klein’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, New Letters, Ascent, Mid-American Review, Natural Bridge, Potomac Review, and other journals. Winner of the Thomas Merton Prize, and a founding co-editor of Rock & Sling, she lives amid acres of mullein in the Pacific Northwest. Her first collection is forthcoming with the Poeima Series from Cascade Books.