By Stanley Plumly
Some--the ones with fish names--grow so north
they last a month, six weeks at most.
Some others, named for the fields they look like,
last longer, smaller.
And these, in particular, whether trout or corn lily,
onion or bellwort, just cut
this morning and standing open in tapwater in the kitchen,
will close with the sun.
It is June, wildflowers on the table.
They are fresh an hour ago, like sliced lemons,
with the whole day ahead of them.
They could be common mayflower lilies of the valley,
day lilies, or the clustering Canada, large, gold,
long-stemmed as pasture roses, belled out over the vase--
or maybe Solomon's seal, the petals
ranged in small toy pairs
or starry, tipped at the head like weeds.
They could be anonymous as weeds.
They are, in fact, the several names of the same thing,
lilies of the field, butter-and-eggs,
toadflax almost, the way the whites and yellows juxtapose,
and have "the look of flowers that are looked at,"
rooted as they are in water, glass, and air.
I remember the summer I picked everything,
flower and wildflower, singled them out in jars
with a name attached. And when they had dried as stubborn
as paper I put them on pages and named them again.
They were all lilies, even the hyacinth,
even the great pale flower in the hand of the dead.
I picked it, kept it in the book for years
before I knew who she was,
her face lily-white, kissed and dry and cold.
Yay, I got to go out on Thursday! Daniel is still not feeling terrific and had me pick him up from the first bus stop, telling me all his friends said he shouldn't have gone back to school, but he's already behind at the start of the quarter and I am loath to have him miss any more -- beyond three days he'd need a doctor's note and I don't think he needs a doctor, just more sleep. His cough is almost gone and he doesn't seem to have a fever, though he did take a nap the moment he got home. I went out to lunch with gblvr and lilac_one at a wonderful vegetarian Chinese restaurant that I had never been to before -- I am taking my family there at the earliest opportunity, as they all ate my leftovers with dinner and agreed that it was great -- and we discussed our most incriminating fannish writing. Below, these are not wildflowers like the poem, I know, but I liked the neighbors' garden gnomes:
In the evening my kids made me watch the first Austin Powers movie to complete the trilogy in reverse. It was funnier than I remembered, but that isn't saying a huge amount. I was so sad to read Dan Savage's eulogy for his mother, very moving and lovely. And am still giggling about last night's Nightline on bromance, which is what you call it when two men are very touchy-feely and adoring like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck -- the show distinguished it from a man-crush by saying that a man-crush is one way, whereas a bromance is mutual and often involves PDA (like Robin Williams sings in Jimmy Kimmel's Ben Affleck song, "This is not a man-crush, he's f%#@ing our friend Ben"). And I don't know what to think about whether we should go to the Olympics in the name of international goodwill and getting right in China's face about Tibet or if I think we should boycott -- please feel free to tell me which would be the better course of action because I can't figure out if either can help the situation.
I was trying to replace this pendant that I lost at the cherry blossom festival (it's by Dryad Designs), and while I was on the Magical Omaha site, I made the mistake of surfing around. I am now the proud owner of the top black shawl plus the matching shawl clip. Oh, and I also got this little cauldron by Nemesis Now -- I have their goddess chalice, oil burner and crystal ball holder -- and I didn't even know that there's a secret hiding space in the books under the cauldron. The irony is that I don't have the pendant yet because it was on order, but they shipped the rest very quickly and it got here today. Yay!