Lament of the Heirloom Red Deer Tongue Lettuce

by Tricia Knoll
You never understood
what I need to grow.

A fine bed, enriched
with patience.

Wait for a warm moment,
no rushing rosettes.

Push in the depth of an eyelash,

Leaven with earthiness,
long-time compost.

Water with an even hand
my red-tipped tongue.

Brush dust from my ruffles.
Wait again. Wait.

Thin with delicacy, make room
for mid-ribs, my round tips.

Take me in my time
    field-ripe, full laced

so I do not bolt. 
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet whose work appears in numerous journals and anthologies. Her chapbook Urban Wild is out from Finishing Line Press. In December 2015, Ocean’s Laughter, Aldrich Press - poetry of the northern Oregon coast - will be available on Amazon. Website:

© 2015, Tricia Knoll