to the orange still green
Your desire for metamorphosis heard and filed away:
frustration noted, conveyed to proper authorities,
soil and rain. Issues of identity never so labored as today.
I have heard, however, if you hail from Valencia,
it’s quite normal, and as far as dye—why would you
tamper with natural beauty in search of convention,
in this state where the prophetic sun anoints every
being? Merely for the sake of reinvention?
O Orange, unmatchable trochee except by slant,
by dint of the imagined word, yet to be created,
word of a new world, green world, seamless sphere
content, unbruised by fear of being belated,
join the trend—shed your insecurity, take pride
in the mother country, Brazil, in the year yours arrived
here, 1873, planted by the future scions of Riverside.
Rumor has one of three founding trees still alive,
and that could be your branch, your seed—while my kin
found themselves in Jersey City, trying their damndest
to speak American.
From Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) by Patty Seyburn. Copyright © 2002 by Patty Seyburn. Used with the permission of the publisher.