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Chris crittenden

Cold Start

when rhubarb thorns
crust a tawny acre
nothing green 
can ramble its way.

leaves seek penance
with dried-out fingers
curled on a catafalque
of wasted beetles.

pursed petals 
wilt off scurfy stalks,
and so our hopes
etiolate too.

medusae of witch hazel
petrify gardens
into topiaries 
of frail gravestones.

entire persons 
become potpourris
sinewy from sorrow,
brittle with regret.

diaries gush 
out fondest keepsakes,
desperate for the totem
of an erstwhile wish.

this cold start
behaves as poorly 
as a cutpurse, knifing
at flimsy morsels:
mildewy sage, rosemary rot,
lost baby’s breath.

Chris Crittenden lives in a struggling fishing village, 50 miles from the nearest traffic light. He is pretty well published.