J. D. Smith: Rare Species

The Magnolia of Mongolia
Would make a lovely sight.
Its glossy leaves would herald health,
It blooms perfume the night,

By day supplying bird and bee
The nectar they have made.
(It wouldn’t hurt to pitch a yurt
Beneath the boughs’ deep shade.)

The scattered towns would flourish, filled
With verdant avenues
Of julep joints and sidewalk spots
Where buskers play the blues.

Most of the country, though, lies on
A high and windy plain
With bitter cold most of the year
And hardly any rain

Where nomads might quite will resent
The broken sightline and
A baffled yak just might attack
The strange thing on its land.

For these reasons and for others,
A rather lengthy list,
The Magnolia of Mongolia
Does not, in fact, exist.