Proboscidea parviflora

Devil's claw

Lisa Cooper Anderson



I wake at foot of palo verde

right here will do / where I find myself

begin the green crawl out of earth

pale elbow slips from a slit in the seed case


I stand, spread my first leaves

lean onto the mother berm

nonchalant, not shouting

stretch over her brown arms

a leaf here, there another


I dedicate each bloom to morning

I am at eleven now

the beginnings of my green beak

wind tears up the chips

my petals flop together & stick


in a blinding my forward foot unzips its green jacket

the springy bone inside divides, encircles

making the claw or what you would call it:

             stick handcuff

             an empty binder

             brittle cuddle

             snap judgment

             rolling ribcage

             one crazy unicycle


down in my nest the gritty wind

the laughter in a coma dream


             house beautiful

             coarse anvil

             seeds rest in bark fuselage

             plowed in by hoofbeats


the mother earth, mother leaves

the mother fruit

the rough mother

an arc

scattering her children






Lisa Cooper Anderson has lived in Tucson, Arizona, most of her life. She works as a freelance editor and recently published a chapbook entitled Strawgrass Music.