Scottish thistle floats on the pasture,
a lavender scarf rippling in the highlands’ winds.
This silky façade with its softness to the eyes
belies the poisonous spears the thistle wields
to defy whatever beasts dare graze in its field.
Its nectar, however, a honey-birth mead,
lures the hummingbirds,
the butterflies, the bumble bees
who humbly pollenate and seed the world.
This deceptive flower, nature’s Janus,
is both an ancient remedy as well as a poison,
and leaves the gazing wanderer in awe
of the love that once saved him,
then condemned him to hell.

Cynthia Pitman

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