by Edward Field
The Museum of Modern Art on West Fifty-third Street
Is interested only in the flower not the bulb.
After the Dutch tulips finished blooming in the garden last year,
They pulled them up and threw them away--that place has no heart.
Some fortunately were rescued and came into my possession.
I kept them all winter in a paper bag from the A.&.P.--
At first where I was living then, on the West Side,
Until the next-door tribe of Murphys drove me out with rock'n' roll,
Then at Thompson Street in the Village, where, overhead,
A girl and her lover tromped around all night on each other.
And that wasn't the end of it. I shlepped those bulbs around
For two months from place to place, looking for a home,
All winter, moving, oy--although this was nothing new to me,
Coming as I do from a wandering race,
And life with its twelve plagues making me even more Jewish.
Now I am living on Abingdon Square--not the Ritz exactly, but a place,
And I have planted the tulips in my windowbox.
Please God make them come up, so that everyone who passes by
Will know I am there, at least long enough to catch my breath,
When they see the bright, red, beautiful flowers in my window.