Every half century, the synchronous flowering of bamboo causes famine in parts of India.
May we blossom every fifty years
without afflicting the people.
May our seedpods nourish rodents
who roam our groves
without rebuking lands with famine.
May sweet potatoes and rice save us.
May ginger and turmeric flourish
to the bitter distaste of rats
while tresses of bamboo flowers
changeling white wasps
load the groves with seed
in rare perennial synchrony.
May our sisters flower en masse
hundreds of square miles apart
in the pale night. May our shoots
pray a silent vision of healing,
our rhizome-laden memories:
Yes, we share our hunger
only once on this earth, my love.
Let us bless our fruit and multiply.
Source: Poetry (November 2010).