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  • John Wellers



He bought some tulips for his front porch.

First they’re for his wife but

he knows she’ll put them there.

Everyone will see the tulips and most of them will notice.

He lives his whole life for them, of course

he does that for her.

He works for a living

He won’t be rooted up

Dug in, indignant

He earned his spot in the cul-de-sac

His wife and him brainstormed

a passive-aggressive e-mail to his boss,


But they spent

a lot of brainpower together

ensuring plausible deniability

should anyone call them out.

He’s never been fond of tulips

more of a succulent man

his wife loves them

thinks they’re

“Bright bulbs like ideas

I might have one day.”

She likes to share that one with her book club.

Neighborhoods like his get buried in a row,

watered, fostered, perpetuated like petty lumps.

breeding the perennial paternal figure.

Grown from the ground

he’s a go-getter

he’ll go get her more tulips

lest the neighbors think he doesn’t

take care of his family.

—John Wellers


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