Thistle (Cnicus benedictus), a poem

blessed thistle

Thistle (Cnicus benedictus)

This distance between us
has a sure purpose, to keep you away
from my prickly leaves & branches.

If ever you try to play with me
like a toy you’ll become cross & sick,
but you can always beg to feel

the white-wooly fuzz
covering my stems & the undersides
of my leaves. Unbelieving, the bitterest evil

abates when confronted
with my composite flowers,
their pure aesthetic wonder.

My crown is decked with glory,
sharp, spiny bracts surround
my purple blooms. You know me

as Blessed Thistle, my most civilized
incarnation. Sooner or later, I and
my many children will take over the world.

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