It’s not that Joe Pye means to deceive us;
he is sweet after all with his erect,
purple attitude against a stanchion
of  jewelweed, and looming well above the
panicled and delicate white daisies
huddling against the first chill-days of late
September under the clarity of
a 9/11 sky. Foolish to call
him a dupe for standing tall against what
he knows; Jopi will break up your fever,
ease the hack of typhus, or toss the stones
of kidneys into imagination.
We’re busy splitting wood while Joe Pye stands
firm, neck stiffened against the coming freeze.

John L. Stanizzi is author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, and High Tide–Ebb Tide. His newest collection, Chants, will be published in 2018 (Cervena Barva). He’s had poems in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, and others.  

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