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MUSED Literary Magazine.

Raucous Rhubarb

Bernadine Lortis

Early May. Snow forecast for Minnesota
doesnīt scare rhubarb that struts its rosy legs
like cabaret dancersī circling gams
through freshly thawed ground
confident in its reputation to provide
the tangy base for Motherīs Day custard cream pie.

Soon gorgeous crinkly buds disrobe themselves
under huge green poisonous umbrellas
that safeguard strong yet fragile stems
from summerīs intense broil
for after the 4th of July
folk lore spreads gossipy fingers
to warn neighbors against consumption.
A short fling, this ruby twisted tango
—no wonder itīs a first-show darling!