Panic Grass and Feverfew
by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
After a quiet flash: a second sun
rose and fell and flattened four square miles —
half–grown potatoes cooked in the earth,
odd–shaped shadows burned on stones —
twelve days later,
wildflowers would overtake
the epicenter’s remains.
ruled next to goosefoot and yellow–eyed
bluets; Spanish bayonets and morning glories
grew near hairy–fruited bean. Broad green
with mealy–white undersides, sword–like
leaves, stubby white rays, climbing vines,
pea–flowers enclosed in burs with hooked spikes:
a field stood swaying, where houses had been.
Neck–high wildflowers — where houses had been.
— after John Hersey’s “Hiroshima”