Fleabane again and I have another year

to take up its redness and what the wayside is like

with or without it and I have another year

to charge across the wooden bridge and shake it

again and take on the animals and fight

the stupid bikes and the bikers who ride across

with their legs spread out instead of walking their bikes

so we didn't have to be pushed against the rails,

they are so dumb and their bikes have so many dumb

and useless gears like a dumb idiot box

with 2,000 stations, only dumb ancient

boxing and ancient movies worth anything,

Jack Johnson or Marciano, even

Orson Welles too much, give me the unself-

conscious, Karl Malden or Jean Harlow,

for this is an old flower, it hates whatever

it wants to, it grows where it wants and it

loves goats because of their flattened eyes.

By Gerald Stern