We Walk Larry’s Trail Talking about the Virus, and Socrates’ Death

Nothing new, Crito, said Socrates,
just what I am always telling you—
wild cherry, box elder, crab apple,
the red bud is a nitrogen fixer,
after these beautiful flowers,
they will make seed pods, see,
there’s poison hemlock, the same
Socrates took from the poison officer,
drink the poison, government orders,
oxalis, winged elm, it’s called that
because of its flattened branches,
sassafras, red oak, post oak,
muscadine twisted across the path,
vines, twined into the water oak.
Someone had better bring in the poison.
Burr oak with catkins
which are legumes. I am told
that one should make one's end
in a tranquil frame of mind.

Plato:  Socrates’ Death, (Phaedo - 115b-118b)

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About the Author

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books, including, The Mercy of Traffic, winner of the Phillip H. McMath 2020 Post-Publication Award and five chapbooks. Her work appears in Atlanta Review, Mom Egg Review, pacificREVIEW and this spring Doubleback Books reprinted her 2008 book, Discount Fireworks as a free download.