No Shelter
by Rebecca Balcarcel

    The wooden gate stands half open,

    leading the eye along a curved path of flagstones
    toward oak trunks tendrilled with ivy,
    toward bright banks of marigolds.

    In the dream it was a day like this one,
    a day awash with sunlight and the warm smell of turned earth.

    In the dream,

    the gate was missing,
    and slats of fence, one by one, disappeared.
    My alarm was for the plants:
    roses might be invaded by chokeweed,
    crabgrass would overtake the vinca.

    The sun stood still,
    waiting for me.
    Shadows lay motionless on the grass

    until I woke, hearing the implausible answer,

    "Overrun the world with roses."


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