Artichoke

Artichoke

The nubbed leaves
come away
in a tease of green, thinning
down to the membrane:
the quick, purpled,
beginnings of the male.

Then the slow hairs of the heart:
the choke that guards its trophy,
its vegetable goblet.
The meat of it lies, displayed,
up-ended, al dente,
the stub-root aching in its oil.

from A Painted Field (Picador, 1997), ? Robin Robertson 1997, used by permission of the author and Macmillan Publishers

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