The Dead
--Don Paterson 
Our business is with fruit and leaf and bloom;  
though they speak with more than just the season's ......tongue--
the colours that they blaze from the dark loam  
all have something of the jealous tang     
of the dead about them. What do we know of their part  
in this, those secret brothers of the harrow,  
invigorators of the soil-- oiling the dirt  
so liberally with their essence, their black marrow?       
But here's the question. Are the flower and fruit  
held out to us in love, or merely thrust  
up at us, their masters, like a fist?    
Or are they the lords, asleep amongst the roots,  
granting to us in their great largesse  
this hybrid thing-- part brute force, part mute kiss?

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