From April to June, a local thief took advantage of dawn twilight to help himself to flowers from private yards, community gardens, and the cathedral grounds. In mid-June, the police nabbed him, and although he wasn’t arrested, his crime spree withered—but not before a gargoyle on the north nave barked a bit of doggerel.
NOTEBOOK: FRAGMENTS FOR A FLOWER THIEF
They paced the plot for hours, as mothers would,
But understood: “His arms were full of flowers.”
“In April it was lilacs.” (Listen how
she hates to blame the deer.) “Hydrangeas now!
Four times this spring.” (Of course it could be deer.)
My peonies at least were spared this year.
The Lilack speaketh late of early Love.
The bolder Peon prospereth a-red.
The Seede abundant unifies the Figge.
We love thee numb, O Koriandrum, come—
Fragaria, redeem the injur’d Maid.
“He sold us flowers first a year ago.
We called him—Shantih?” Shantih does not know.
We conquer by the weapons we desert.
By dawn the dogs will bound ahead to find
The efflorescent errand you resigned,
The arrow shafts unwagoned in the dirt.