the issue of euthanasia

by James Norcliffe

the issue of euthanasia
puzzles the Chinese student
for she can see the magnolia
in the distance holding
what seems to be great
armloads of lilac butterflies

she has chosen three
of the first tomatoes
of spring from the read-headed
stallholder and because
the wind is soft he has
given her an extra one

she smiles at him
and at the gusts of cherry
petals that lift and billow
about her like little words






even though in the distance
there is a bank of liverish
clouds which languish / loiter

and language lingers there
below a full moon
round white and
puzzling in the sky

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