Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Name of the Flower

Field Guide

No one I ask knows the name of the flower

we pulled the car to the side of the road to pick
and that I point to dangling purple from my lapel.

I am passing through the needle of spring
in North Carolina, as ignorant of the flowers of the south
as the woman at the barbecue stand who laughs
and the man who gives me a look as he pumps the gas

and everyone else I ask on the way to the airport

to return to where this purple madness is not seen
blazing against the sober pines and rioting along the


On the plane, the stewardess is afraid she cannot answer

my question, now insistent with the fear that I will leave
the province of this flower without its sound in my ear.

Then, as if he were giving me the time of day, a passenger

looks up from his magazine and says wisteria

—Billy Collins

image: Wisteria frutescens flower closeup, Dcrjsr


  1. billy collins and mary oliver and christie in chicago.
    my cup is full.

  2. And I hope that spring has reached you too . . . Or the promise of it, anyway.