Ode to the bougainvillea

It had stood for 50 years or more

a safe haven to locals and travelers alike

no more than a bush 

a hedge closely cropped for decades

an arrogant attempt to tame the wild

but she persisted 

home and biome

for generations of mice, squirrels, lizards, insects 

and birds by the basket full

In our climate

an almost constant 

display of delicate 

tissue paper flowers

more purple than pink

Despite the strength that dwelt hidden within

it took only a few blows of the landscapers steel axe

to separate head and heart

from the roots

with its hold to the earth severed 

the flowers and leaves withered

and sweating men hacked at it with 


and carried the pieces 

to a rented dumpster 


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