Enmity

Two clumps of daffodils stood glowering
Like rival gangs, boots superglued, across
The lawn and hurled mute insults. Each stem strained;
Each trumpet thrust a V-sign of contempt.

For two whole weeks their futile hatred grew.
Then some collapsed, as if a stomach punch
Had crippled them. The paler lot still stood,
Were crumpled, battered, but victorious,

Were not magnanimous. In old age, spite
Was concentrated. Senile vitriol
Spewed from their pursed and toothless mouths: the cries
Of raving genocidal partisans.

I cut their heads off, and they looked surprised,
Affronted, while the others watched and jeered.

© Peter Howard

first published in theKent and Sussex Poetry Competition Anthology 1994