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HOMETOWN, USAPlastic Flamingos


Necks bend double, twisted into s’s
by the tug of humid days and nights and days;
one leg tangled in St. Augustine grass,
the other tucked tight, half ready for flight.
Plastic flamingos hold a dainty ache,
pink firebrands of memory,
our many northern places
where sambo stableboys, old as iron,
held hitching rings for generations
of horses that never came. Or would.

And so we humor ourselves,
flamingos in gaudy splendor
a preposterous High Kitsch joke
against the sham of Florida seasons,
the high-rises faulting from the sand
like sheer cliffs of glass
hoarding the sun and breeze,
turning a glimpse of sea
back to the sea.

And yet—
on the concrete pedestal thrust from the lawn,
the silver ornamental globe
reflects
a sudden, unaccustomed grace:
flamingos hover and curve,
the first blush
in a world gone round
and perfectly plain,
lovely as sprinklers pulsing gently
in a gentler summer rain.

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