The Maple













The Maple

She couldn’t bear to wear
that same green dress
another day. She was sick
of blending in, of posing
in the same plain uniform
as everyone else in the wood.
So, about a week ago, she showed up
orange. Her leaves sparkled
like the bells on a belly dancer’s belt.
She shimmied like she was on fire.
The whole place was shaking,
until yesterday, when the accordion
sneezed, the lute snapped a string
and all her sequins flopped.
Now there she is
standing naked in the cold.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved

For more Poetry Friday, visit Diane at Random Noodling.

My Pumpkin













I saw this pumpkin at the grocery store and I had to have it. It called to me. So I bought it and brought it home and stood it on the stoop. I heard myself think, “But I don’t want to carve it. I like it like this.” Then I heard myself think, “There’s a poem there.”

Here it is:


My Pumpkin

I don’t want to carve my pumpkin.
I don’t want to give it a grin.

I like my pumpkin like it is.
I like its smooth orange skin.

I like that it’s a little tall.
I like its hollow thump.

I like its tiny tree-trunk stem.
I like its warty bump.

Of all the pumpkins in the pile,
this one said “Pick me!”

I don’t want to carve my pumpkin.
I want to let it be.


I’m still thinking about the last line. Do kids say “Let it be?” Do they know what it means?

For more Poetry Friday, visit Amy at The Poem Farm.


(c) 2013, Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved

Morning Glory–A Work in Progress











Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the morning glories growing in my yard. I noticed myself spending more and more time sitting next to them with my computer in my lap, so I gave myself an assignment: Write a poem that explores your feelings for these flowers. Here’s what I wrote:


Morning Glory

There isn’t much left
When someone’s dead
The property sold
A shopping mall built
Where the house once stood
Just these morning glories
Outside my door
Twining through time
As urgently blue
As the ones she grew


I was pretty satisfied with this as a day’s work, but the next day I asked myself: Is this poem short because that’s what’s best or is it short because you were too scared to keep going? That’s when I gave myself a new assignment: Take what you wrote yesterday and use it as a starting point for writing today.


I’m still working on this one. I’m also still working on answering the question: How do you know when a poem is complete?

For more Poetry Friday, visit Laura at Author Amok.

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved.

Fuzzy Tails











There are tails in the garden
That sway in the air
Like the tips of fine cats
Who expect you to stare.

Gently, I pet them.
Their fur starts to shed.
These cats spread themselves
All over the bed!

(c) Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved


Just a poem today.

For more Poetry Friday visit Betsy at I Think in Poems.

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