by Grace Marie Grafton
Lend my heart to a passion flower in Surinam
because it has guardian ants and there
my heart would be, tucked down
between the stems of the pistils
and the ants would assume it to be integral
to the flower and would guard it from all threat.
I'd be safe. At least, my heart would be.
Yesterday I heard a poet say 'the price of love.'
Of course she didn't mean legal tender or even
a ring or deed to a house. She meant sorrow.
Do the guardian ants love the flower, their job?
I'd like to think so, maybe an insect kind of
love but I know I love the passion flower and,
despite the fact that I know it will die and
I will die (the ants too), it still feels good.
I want to share my passion with their
passion, just look at the color of those petals,
just look how beautifully my heart fits under the
cerise punctuation of the pistils, look at the articulated
dangerous complexity of the ants' legs.
* * * * *
"Passion" was first published in Askew.
Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six collections of poems, most recently 'Jester,' published by Hip Pocket Press. She has taught thousands of children to write poetry through her work with CA Poets in the Schools.