Lindsay Ahl

The Poppies

If you were here, you would cascade the path to the Golden Gate Bridge.


I see your mind in the sun.


I see you talking to Robert Hass – incredulous: “Who doesn’t know

that poppies are taller than wheat?” You are at a cafe in San Francisco.


When you first arrived, you called Thomas Merton: “And what is this abomination

called TV? Can we abolish it? What can we do?”


Are poppies really tall?

Do they really sway? Who will carry our words

to the tallest hill: the breeze goes


from here all the way to the ocean.



I see your words banned. You know economy.

Robert asks, do you mean Oh! or O! ?

“What is the difference?” you ask.


Robert: “Like this.”


The poppies really are tall. They sway. Milosz. Yes.