Denise Levertov

For Floss

Brown and silver, the tufted
rushes hold sway
by the Hackensack

and small sunflowers
freckled with soot
clamber out of the fill

in gray haze of
Indian summer
among the paraphernalia

of oil refineries, the crude
industrial débris,
leftover shacks

rusting under dark
wings of Skyway—

tenacious dreamers
sifting the wind
day and night, their roots

in seeping waters—

and fierce in each disk
of coarse yellow the archaic
smile, almost
agony, almost

a boy’s grin.