Oleander is neither

rhythmic nor kind – with

strangely stressed syllables in a

four-count array that don’t play

well in a couplet or haiku – oleander


killed a giraffe once at the

tucson zoo when a worker

thought it fit to

feed it some

of the crisp green leaves that I

used to admire or even

poke at until

I knew the truth – oleander


falls into one of those

arizona fallacies that

newbies wrongly believe like it

never gets cold in winter or

your dog will know not

to chew on cactus or

oleander is too handsome

to kill you – the two


oleander in my yard have long been

strangled or marred one

chopped to the quip to make

room for a table and the

other blighted with a fungus that

makes polypy chunks stunts its

growth and otherwise

mangles its appearance the


oldeander of my

neighbor blooms and

bends above and beyond the

fence looking luscious for

an instant and then

plopping its poisonous

petals on the soil

beneath where nothing

now grows without

turning haggard, then

drying up and

dying oleander


should be

outlawed a

friend once said told me

all the oleander in the

state was falling prey

to a plague swiping down

to annihilate and

maim them but they are


still alive well and thriving

in pots for sale

at home depot where

a sales guy warned me

anew about the oleander

woes how his dad’s friend

chopped and burned a

big pile of the branches – then went


from the smoke for a year.

Ryn Gargulinski, 06.08.13