Volume 34, Number 4

Shake Up

400 years later and we're still slinging the same stories:
a woman starry-eyed for some masquerading chump.
Surely we can do better than hands kissing hands
and deception at first sight. Surely any real-life Juliet
could see tragedy around the corner and run

in the opposite direction. Chase if you will, Romeo,
Juliet has a hundred Montagues lurking on her balcony,
presumably peaceful and willing to ignore a feud,
and they, like you, didn't realize she's downtown
at her Pilates class today anyway. Make your case,

but when she turns you away, make haste.
She's gonna shake off this story that you
tried to yoke on her shoulders. She's not
going to drag your plow through your field.
She's an organic farmer with acres of her own.

She's got compost mulching ancient roots
meters deep. She's got nematodes and worms
conversing through the heartland. You cannot
contain her crops. The only way you'll get a taste
is if you find her stand at the farmer's market.

—Brian U. Garrison