Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Stealing Lilacs
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Alice Persons is a poet from Westbrook and a founding editor of Moon Pie Press, which has just released its 71st volume of poetry. In her poem for this week, “Stealing Lilacs,” she suggests that some thefts can be forgiven.
Stealing Lilacs by Alice Persons
A guaranteed miracle, it happens for two weeks each May, this bounty of riches where McMansion, trailer, the humblest driveway burst with color--pale lavender, purple, darker plum-- and glorious scent. This morning a battered station wagon drew up on my street and a very fat woman got out and starting tearing branches from my neighbor's tall old lilac-- grabbing, snapping stems, heaving armloads of purple sprays into her beater. A tangle of kids' arms and legs writhed in the car. I almost opened the screen door to say something, but couldn't begrudge her theft, or the impulse to steal such beauty. Just this once, there is enough for everyone.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2004 Alice Persons. Reprinted from Never Say Never, Moon Pie Press, by permission of Alice Persons. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.