shadow

My neighbor complains

My neighbor complains about his bee balm,

that scruffy plant with multiple identities:

ordinary bee balm one day, aristocratic

bergamot the next, whose oil

was favored by the umpteenth Earl Grey.

And then there's Oswego tea, and the name

preferred by botanists - Monarda.

It spreads too fast, he says.

It's taking over

the garden.

Ah, but I have watched

those mop-haired clowns and

wondered if the hummingbirds love them

as the experts say they do.

And even while wondering, even

in the act of walking by, wondering,

I've seen a flash and blur,

a tiny jeweled body, wings purring;

have seen it rise from among the red

untidiness, pause,

descend again to sip,

then disappear.

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