Old L.A. Palms


rotting elephant toes,

no deep roots,

but long, grey, spindly legs--more likely a giraffe's


how they tower

a hundred feet above

two-story buildings or any other tree


how they cast

even longer shadows,

and wave their floppy, foldable fans--more like

frayed elephant ears


how their years

outstretch the competition

from eucalyptus and telephone poles


how they bob

their heads and buffet--

so unlikely--the hot, dry winds


such awkwardly tall,

ugly plants now,

when compared to royal palm or date


for more than

a moment at sunset,

they rock and roll any reality check