Panic Grass and Feverfew

by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

After a quiet flash: a second sun
rose and fell and flattened four square miles

halfgrown potatoes cooked in the earth,
oddshaped shadows burned on stones

twelve days later,
                     wildflowers would overtake
the epicenter’s remains.

ruled next to goosefoot and yelloweyed
bluets; Spanish bayonets and morning glories
grew near hairyfruited bean.  Broad green
with mealywhite undersides, swordlike
leaves, stubby white rays, climbing vines,
peaflowers enclosed in burs with hooked spikes:

a field stood swaying, where houses had been.
Neckhigh wildflowers where houses had been.

                       after John Hersey’s “Hiroshima”