Goldenrod

Miriam Kotzin Click to read more...

Photo of Miriam N.Kotzin   copyMiriam Kotzin is a professor of English at Drexel University and edits Per Contra. She writes poetry and short short stories, and her books include Reclaiming the Dead (New American Press, 2009), Weights & Measures (Star Cloud Press, 2010) and Just Desserts: Short Stories (Star Cloud Press, 2010). She holds a Ph. D. from NYU.

Well, then, consider the proud goldenrod.
It lords the pasture and roadways while all

summer long it busies itself with hoarding
the heat and the sunlight. It holds them up

as an offering, all the gathered summer gold
as if to say, “This! Just this! Just this and no more!”

And the hot sky responds
“This! Just this and no more!”

But this happens, and then that comes to pass
as you guessed it would: Summer wanes. Then

the goldenrod holds up its summer’s store of greed
like a measured sacrifice, “This! Just this and no more.”

The regardless sky responds, “Just this and no more.”
Now along the roadway and over all the wide pasture

goldenrod offers up these soft gray curls,
its question, a plea, “This? Just this?

Just this and no more?” And the cold sky answers
as you know it will.

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Discussion

One Response to Goldenrod

  1. M. Latella says:

    I like how Miriam Kotzin personifies the goldenrod plant in this poem. The opening lines, “it busies itself with hoarding the heat and the sunlight” makes me think of a young eager farmhand, busy preparing himself for the Summer season. Kotzin’s exchange between the sunlight and the goldenrod makes you wonder what plants would think and say if they had the capacity to do so. I enjoy her interpretation of this relationship.

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