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This poem is taken from PN Review 209, Volume 39 Number 3, January - February 2013.

Death and the Lemon Tree Elaine Feinstein

My foolish indoor tree, this sudden exuberance
            of sweet-smelling flowers troubles me.
Surely it is reckless, when your leaves have been falling
            ever since you were put in the new pot?
Somewhere in your helical code the instructions
            have been fucked up.

Last year I picked your fruit with reverence,
            taking pride in the full flesh.
Today as I feed your roots the intense
            blue crystals for citrus fruit
your heady perfume is no longer rich
            as the low notes of a flute.

Bare wood. Scuffed petals. No question,
            you are under stress.
How can I heal you? More water? Less?
            This is a peculiar season.

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