Summer Scourge










Summer Scourge

I cut their heads off eagerly
with a snip of the sharpest blade.
I lopped a few of the living too, carelessly
desperate to get the burnt and shriveled corpses
out of sight. I was the knight
finishing the dragon with one last
slice across the neck. And yet,
these daisies meant no harm.


Often my poetry comes from close observation of the natural world. Recently, I’ve realized that I also need to observe myself observing the world.

For more Poetry Friday visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved

19 replies
  1. margaretsmn says:

    Poor daisies. I have some lopsided sunflowers out there. I haven’t the heart or the stamina for the heat to go lop them off. Thanks for posting today.

    • lsteinglass says:

      Margaret–have the birds found them? I saw some goldfinches at the sunflowers the other day. Their yellow feathers matched the bright petals perfectly.

  2. Janet F. says:

    I love the idea that you can make a poem about deadheading your plants and then turn your thoughts into how you go about observing the natural world and your place in it, Liz. Sometimes we seem, in our haste, to race to the conclusion without ever considering the effect of our actions on the observers. Writing this makes me think of bullying and the silent witnesses……and the damage done to them. See where your poem has taken me!!!

    • lsteinglass says:

      Hi Janet. I made some notecards to put by my desk. One says, “Stay open as long as possible.” I’m trying harder not to race to the conclusion. I’m happy my poem sent you on a journey.

  3. Bridget Magee says:

    Wow! Within this noble cause, lopping off daisy deadheads, some innocent victims, a “few of the living” were felled by a “slice across the neck”. Another thought provoking poem, Liz! =)

    • Violet Nesdoly says:

      I can relate. This is exactly the passion with which I used to attack my bedraggled stand of daisies, which ended up growing about twice as tall as the package said they would. Your comparison of yourself to a dragon-slayer in this tickles my funny bone . :0

  4. Heidi says:

    Good stuff here, Liz–especially the first three lines up to “carelessly,” which have a natural but pleasingly organized rhythm. Introduction of knight idea injects good energy at a crucial point. I also appreciate the gardening lesson–is that what I should do to my expired daylilies? And what are you doing on Weds. morning?

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