Acres of mangrove, crowding the sea-streaked marsh, Acres of mangrove, wading toward the beaches, And here and there a milky-white bloom tossed On fragile boughs above the flooded reaches. Mangrove thrusts deep in salty mud, Balances uneasily upon its three-pronged roots, Huddles from wind in its dissonance of leaves. Tempest and drought it has withstood, This straggling orchard that bears no fruits, This field where none will garner sheaves. Sucking life up from the acrid marsh, Drawing life down from the burning sun, All the year offers of crude and harsh There between sea and shore it has known. Wave and glare, sea-urge, sea-drift, It has been their victim, proved their power, Persisting bleakly for one end alone— Through an unheeded hour Briefly, awkwardly, to lift This frail, inconsequent flower.
Copyright © 2005 by Muna Lee.