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Greenfly
LH ( / London)

Greenfly

Poem By Linda Hepner

She found it on a lettuce leaf,
A greenfly with an attitude;
She took the leaf and walked it out,
Then sang me this old platitude:

All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

I loved the bearer of the leaf,
The saviour of that sinned-on salad
Forgiving sinners, not the sin,
And half a century late, this ballad:

I was the greenfly, trespassing
Upon the hymns which Christians learned
In sweet Victorian eagerness
While all around them bodies burned

And families were rounded up
To slave like aphids for the ants,
Or pulled asunder brutally
This death or that, no final chance.

But in those salad days my mind
Had only ears for country sounds
And eyes for waving wheat, the kind
that ripples on its golden grounds.

I was the greenfly, tenderly
Put out of danger, saved with thought
That I had some far quality
That would emerge when I’d be sought,

And so I left and went afield
To face vicissitudes and years
Until the skin I grew was peeled
By loves familiar in my tears

And laughter: home at last I came,
No transformation, all as if
It ever was, myself in name,
A greenfly on a lettuce leaf.

LRH
11.23.07.

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