I read the morning news as if I’m in Oslo,
sipping akevitt at the Grand Café, a river
of sunlight coursing down Karl Johans gate
while Norse gods sway in their blue hammock
above the shimmering fjord.

How sad, I think, for my brethren back home;
The war between the states still raging,
vigilantes of lost dreams now guarding
the palaces they’ll only get to clean,
generations of grudges still crouched over
an imaginary ball.

New friends stop by to say hello, armed with
cloudberries, krumkake, lupines and heather.
They glance at headlines over my shoulder
and ask politely, in broken English,
“What flowers still grow in America?”