ode to a Russian immigrant
while the old man could not conjugate a verb or parse a noun & though he could but estimate the vowels of my name, when it came to the roots of gardening & the diction of things green, his grammar was impeccable; his speech, that of a dean. Year by year & summers long my singing childhood through (with practiced fingers skillful at conducting earth in song) Old Cedor uttered oracles; earth answered green & strong. tomatoes, cukes & cabbages; sweet lyric lines of corn, all climbed through time with flourishes from Cedor's golden horn. & though (until his final day) his tongue was strange to me, for as long as there live Innocents whose speech is one with green, his song will sing with eloquence; his voice, be ever green.