by Nonnie Augustine
the first to open all, poised ten feet above our fuss.
As far as she's concerned … well, she's not, is she?
Her splendor cows me.
On this Tuesday morning I feel aged, dry, critical, although
I've used my potions.
Lousy sleep. Awake at 4 a.m., 5, 5:30. Sweaty.
And I feel short.
"Arrogant" comes to us via Old French from Latin— 'claiming for oneself',
from the verb arrogare.
Soon the fraying, browning, finishing. Disarray happens.
An old record plays. Mother and nuns scolding:
"No one likes a complainer."
"Wipe that look off."
My sweet dog's done her business and here is the poor bloom (soon to die) again.
The magnolia deflects my murky sensibility. Flowers, leaves, trunks, weeds, grass—
all of it—brushes me off. Of course.
Home and somewhat smoothed, despite the visit from my scolds,
despite the niggling moans from death.
* * * * *
"Arrogant Magnolia" first appeared in Olentangy Review and it is part of Nonnie Augustine's new book, To See Who's There.