Milkweed

Poem by Midge Goldberg

I never was quite sure of what it meant—

twisting my ankle on that pitted road.

The milkweed grows there with its lovely scent.

 

Have you seen milkweed? Ugly, warty plant;

spiked bloom; in fall, a boll of cotton thread.

I wanted to be sure of what it meant.

 

Today, I find a butterfly, wings rent.

I hear a squawking crow, startle a toad.

The milkweed grows. There, with its lovely scent,

 

the honeysuckle creeps along a bent

dead tree, all signs of some unspoken code

I never was quite sure of. What I meant

 

to find there, metaphors to be content

with, beauty, truth, all that, I watch explode

like milkweed. Growing with the faintest scent

 

is this, a swampy, rootbound new intent

to unearth nothing anymore; instead,

never be quite sure of what things meant.

The milkweed grows there with its lovely scent.