Poem 15 -- Arborescent monocot
Arborescent monocot. “Mothers of the Disappeared.” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” “Bullet the Blue Sky”: “Put El Salvador through an amplifier.” Seldom free-standing (Mexican as the Irish in the United States), the Joshua tree sends out yellow-green flowers—like flares—in the spring. Mormons referred to the trees—actually shrubs—as “praying plants.” Anthropomorphizing each’s branches, they compared the largest of the yucca evergreens to the Old Testament prophet Joshua as he pointed toward the promised land. Use the Joshua tree’s lightweight wood to splint broken limbs. Chew the plant’s roots for the steroid-like compound released (in cases of allergic reaction or swelling).
-- Amy Sara Carroll
Carroll's poem on the Joshua Tree, quickly moves into song titles from the Irish rock band U2, whose album by that title broke sales records in the late '80s and delivered ballads and anthems to that generation. Unlike other poems that spend most of their time focusing on the practical, this poem free-associates first, appending its life-saving knowledge only at the end.
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