Lantern Review: Issue 5

The mule peach thrives
in a Massachusetts greenhouse.
The mule orange survives
February freezes.

Mule: A half-bred tree with no flowers,
a crossed fruit with no seeds,
a mixed man with no sons

III. Hy´brid or Hyb´rid, n. A mongrel. a. Produced by the mixture of two species; mongrel.

My birth mother taught me
to combine orange with orange.
She never crossed
kumquat with lime.

My Western mother taught me
to label, to name
the parts I already knew.
I need new words
for the plants I’ve bred.

Carrie Green

To create the hybrid orange,
I crossed the trees whose fruit
ripened in summer’s heat
with trees that revived
after the Great Freeze.

Yes, by design. I wanted
a hybrid rose formed
from green petals, not sepals.
I blended the pollen
of celery-tinged creams
until the blossoms deepened
to pure, pale green.

I did not foresee
the bright, sweet perfume
of the hybrid grapefruit,
nor the raspberry’s
yellow-pink flesh.
The hybrid plant surprises, too,
with colors and scents
I could not dream.