Doris Watts

The Truth about Flowers

Snapdragons can be surly, tulips sly.
Forget-me-nots won't guarantee you fame.
The poppies party wildly. Daisies lie,
their "love-me love-me-not" a famous scam.
And peonies in lush and lovely dress
will claim they are both proper and sedate,
secure in their own bashful loveliness,
a passionate yet passionless estate.
But roses? They've been known to take to dance,
the Mr. Lincoln and the Queen Elizabeth
abandoning themselves to windy chance,
more steamy tango than chaste minuet.
     It's spring, they say. A sunny day as well.
     The daisies promise (sure!) that they won't tell.

Mr. Frost's Chickens

In truth, he knew the chickens deemed it strange
the way that, lost in thought, he'd often stand
an hour with feed bucket in his hand
although they waited at his feet for grain.

Did he perhaps forget what he'd come for?
Forget about those nests and all those eggs?
Forget about the hens around his legs?
Something there was, it seemed, that mattered more.

Still, faithful to a fault as some might say,
did they not stir each day at cock-crow dawn
and hurry out to get an early start
while he might stay in bed until midday
and leave the morning chores undone? But then,
he shrugged, what does a chicken know of art?


When Mr. Main next door brought home the bones
that he had found there in a rise of land
out somewhere on the cattle ranch he owned
northeast of town and laid them in our hands,
gigantic toe bone, rib, and vertebrae
still dusted with the dirt of eons gone,
he shook his head, we thought as if to say
you'd never want to meet this guy alone.

Right there we held our breath and waited for
approaching mastodon or dinosaur
to make its way across the trembling ground,
and in our mind-eye's ear we heard the sound
of huge beasts stomping through an ancient gloom
and down the street and through the living room.


Doris Watts lives in Temecula, California. Her poems have appeared in Mezzo Cammin, The Formalist (she was twice a finalist in the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Competition), Blue Unicorn, The Lyric, and The Mid-American Poetry Review. She has work forthcoming in 14 by 14. She graduated from the University of Redlands and completed a Special Major Master's Degree in Technical Communication at San Diego State University. She has worked as a usability specialist, examining the human interface with hardware and software documentation, and as a technical writer. Earlier work in Mezzo Cammin: 2011.2, 2011.1, 2009.2, & 2009.1.


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> A panel on The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline has been accepted at this year's Southern Women Writers Conference.
Rhea Nowak: I am always intrigued by the relationships between clarity and chaos, rhythm and awkwardness, mark and intention, presence and absence.
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