I lie down to do my cruelty.

Peace may be my vertical

appearance, but my spurs

are sharp and jockey for position.

Flat on my back I cruel it up

until I’m burning hot under

the collar, but the burs don’t

shift, they stick and hook me raw

with wintergreen until

my cruelty grows more

and more.  One day I’ll have

to kill it or be ridden deep

into the ground, six feet under

anything with roots or bulbs,

and carpeted with grass, but

for now, above the earth, 

my limbs extend, luxuriant

and horizontal. I do

my cruelty lying down.