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The Obedient Plant (physostegia virginiana)

Lee Evans

You, who do not know yourself,
Mistake me for a snapdragon
But I’m a mint instead,
Thriving here in a damp thicket,
Or in a dismal swamp,
Homesteading on the prairie—
Intrepid pioneer.

Butterflies adore me,
Bumblebees are my best friends,
Ruby throated hummingbirds
Hover for a taste of me—
Even you cannot resist
My paired and pinkish flowers’
Smiling spike-like clusters,
Square stems, lance-like leaves,
Too lovely to be left alone.

So seize me in your fingers
And bend me to your fantasies,
Laugh at my contorted pose,
Toss me aside—
I’ll regain my shape. But you,
When you are forced to play
A role in life’s drama
That grates against your principles—
Will you return to Nature too,
When the curtain falls
And the tragedy is through?