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The John Robert Doyle, Jr., Prize

Debbie Scott
Charleston, SC

 

Wrong Climate

Like lavender transplanted
to a far-from-Mediterranean
climate, rotting among too much
greening, under the asymmetry
of birch clumps, in a mountain
vocabulary fraught with blossoming—
unlike the savvy daffodils,
expert in the art of popping up
in inadequate hours of sunlight
under a woolen hat of cloud cover.
It’s never not like this for them—
their blooms cold, cut and sold
to pay for the bulbs, sullen
in the promising dark.
There’s always been enough
darkness to surround good
beginnings, enough nothing,
enough checkmate and echo.