Lantern Review: Issue 5

Carrie Green

Lue Gim Gong, Horticulturist, Defines Words from A High School Dictionary of the English Language, Explanatory, Pronouncing, and Synonymous, 1876

I. Mon´grel (mung´grel), a. Of a mixed breed. –n. An animal of a mixed breed.

Left alone in the garden,
even the oldest roses
bear new blends,
mongrel plants
whose parents can’t be traced.

Yes, by accident. I shelter
open blooms,
for a bee can blur
the pollen I mingled.

The Hybridity Issue

I never thought
I’d bury my braid
in the garden.
I never guessed
I’d pin a false queue
to my hair.

I must not keep
the lime too sour to eat,
the grapefruit with pith so thick
my tongue can’t find the flesh.

II. Mule, n. An animal or plant of a mongrel kind; esp. the offspring of an ass and a mare.

The mule pulls loads of fruit,
his thick head bent
toward soft sand.
I drive the mule all day
and he does not whinny
or bray. He knows
when to stop.