“The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus (1922), Part One, XXI
Fleabane is a favorite of mine. I admire the adaptability of this plant (or weed as many would refer to it), which manages to grow in the most unwelcoming of places. The clusters of flowers are so cheerful and expressive. They always call to mind wild-haired children tumbling over each other with laughter.
Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;
overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,
dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,
so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
and throwing it away,
and making more.
by Tony Hoagland an excerpt of “A Color of the Sky”
from What Narcissism Means to Me (2003)