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from Miami, Florida
Where  Summer  Spends  the  Winter
and grips most places hard;
not here, not now
recalling from my palmy days
when a navy mate of mine
eyeballed all this tropical
and cast away
It was Springtime,  '74,  our ship
left its pier at Charleston
for a shakedown cruise to Florida.
We enjoyed the shore leaves here
where Frank Prochasca fell in deep
like with Royal Poinciana trees
ablast with crimson blooms.
"I want one for my backyard back in Charleston."
So Frank bought
a three-foot potted Royal P.
He billeted this chlorophyll
aboard the USS Orion.
Frank stroked the treelet, as if flesh
sunning with it
atop the "A" deck.
In four more days we disem-
Beer and BBQ ensued
in Frank Prochasca's yard
at which time we all got potted
and the Royal Poinciana
Reid:    "It can't survive the winter here."
Frank:  "It'll grow.  You'll see."
Frank Pro...jected optimism
toward every project he adapted.
Frank was sure that he would have
a dazzling blaze outside
his head
Reid:    "It'll freeze.   Before December.   I'm taking bets."
Frank:  "No it won't.   Not ever.   Twenty dollars."
The tree grew nicely
through the Summer
near fallen flowers reddened by
the precedence of old Fort Sumter.
Frank:  "I'll acclimate it to this town.
It needs breaking-in to cold, is all."
Cool turned on in time,  and then
Frank commenced to sweat
as the nighttimes spilled more frigid;
he Visqueen-tarped his baby tree.
It got colder yet.
Frank cobbled up a wooden frame
for dream-time wooly blanket tuck-ins.
It  got colder yet.
Frank shed light
bulbs in the tent.
The final night was dire
soaking wet then frosty.
Frank's crummy in-
cubator caved and crushed
the tree.
I did not snag
Frank's twenty bucks.
Frank:  "It didn't freeze."
Reid:    "Frankly, you had already killed it."

14 Nov 06

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Not Frank's Tree
 — netskyIam

read aloud
 — netskyIam