Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: New England Asters

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Poet Lynn Ascrizzi, from Freedom, writes that in her garden she raises fruits, vegetables, “and those elusive crops, the perennial ones, that hide in between the sown and planted,” yielding “poems like ‘New England Asters.’”

New England Asters by Lynn Ascrizzi

They’re firing purple from the rock wall,
shouting hurrahs amid gloriosas,
towering on leggy stalks
near the rose trellis, before the frost.
The dames are taking over.
Fringy and sticky, drunk with nectar,
they lean and swagger,
staging a revolution.
Volunteers from last year’s seeds
spring up near the house, 
and new forces bivouac
down the long dirt drive,
ready to occupy the roadside
past the mailbox.
Shovel in hand, I am fully enlisted
in the cause of late bloomers.
I transplant rootstock,
shake out new progeny,
post ensigns amid the wan and cheerless,
marshal troops down desolate hollows,
seed my universe with stars.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 by Lynn Ascrizzi. Reprinted from Puckerbrush Review, Puckerbrush Press Inc., 2012, by permission of Sandy Phippen - Puckerbrush Review Editor. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.