Rhubarb Season


Pioneer’s pie plant –
elephant ear leaves and ruby stalks yield
double-crusted pies with artful slashes to let out steam.
Grandma’s garden, gone to the city, yields
sauces and scones, muffins and mimosas, cakes and chutneys:
Millie’s thoroughly modern

Pull rhubarb or chop it close to the ground.
Cut leaves from stalks,
and bring the stalks into the kitchen.
Discard the broad leaves:
They contain oxalic acid,
a strong poison.

Old Noah Webster knew his pie plant,
and also knew how to keep up with the times, naming
Rhubarb, in baseball,
“a bench clearing brawl.”

From dugout to
dug-in plutocrats, politicos,
clearing the benches
swinging wildly/slinging mud
tweeting a
one-man rhubarb,
all leaf, no stalk.


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