Front yard covered in
for their name
which reminds me
of a crew of riff-raff soldiers
on a suicide mission
in a late 60s movie trailer:
“…they were expendable, they were
unpredictable, they got the job done
when no one else could…
THE JOHNNY JUMP UPS!”…”
and then you’d get a list
that would certainly include
Alejandro Rey and Ernest Borgnine
and maybe Lee Marvin, and some young
macho male looking for a name for himself…
and the flowers,
small as mentioned, tiny even,
variegated and pansy-violet faced,
they’re forgotten entirely
in favor of the association with
All of the other flowers get the treatment too:
I’m sure the Daffodils
are a pop band, the Poppy
describes their music,
I see the Grass
and at once I’m reminded
that it’s April 22
and two days past 4-20…
and Earth Day, too…
I’ll bang my head against something
if I think about this long enough.
If I were to bang my head against something
it would be a wall, not a rock.
Not even a rock wall.
Something made of sheetrock,
paneled in faux wood grain, or covered in earth tone paint…
Anyway, in that movie there would be a scene
where a young woman, not an American,
asks one of the soldiers what he calls
the flower with the pansy face in his country.
“My ma used ta call ’em Johnny-jump-ups,” he’d say.
“She used ta say they meant spring. She loved ’em.
She died in the spring a coupla years ago…
seems like a long time ago, now.”
A little later the same guy,
not James Coburn,
but like James Coburn,
would hear the Germans coming,
and light a cigar. Then a fuse,
lit from the cigar. Then he’d fling
the dynamite. Big explosion!
He’d come up shooting,
all Tommy gun and cigar,
take a bullet
and fall into the flowers,
close his grimy lids as he died
with them under his head
and all around his face.