POKEWEED by Lynn Levin

by Lynn Levin

In my deathwish days when I was young
I reaped the bitter from the field
and ate the poison pokeweed raw.
What did I know of boiling and washing
of throwing the bad soup out?
In my deathwish days, I never had enough
of wretchedness. A bird in the pokeberries
I drank the toxic wine and warbled
my bitter thoughts. Oh, I had lived a life
of deferment: of little I never had enough.
Then early one morning, sick of it all
I caught the wild perfume of the honeysuckle.
I heard the chorus of its delicate tongues.
I drew the stamens through the butter
and moon. I sucked the clear sweet drops.
I left my house. Dawn came up.