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Beet-Root

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I wonder about the crimson-red beet.
Whether a heart underground, buried, may
compost her image and soil her day.
If she minds a cabbage shading her seat.
Month in, month out, we see none of the beet
but a rash of stems to show she's okay,
while sloughing off friends who thwart his display,
the cabbage behaves like Henry the Eighth.
But comes the time in life's late hot summer
when, not kings but cabbages, lose their heads,
soonest for swaggering over the spa.
Leaves of brilliance proclaim a newcomer
when, root-strong, the beet grows up from her bed
to steam through Harvard and pickle some slaw.


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