Selected Poem – Old Milkweed

Old Milkweed

by Elizabeth McCarthy

New grasses, wild parsnip,
goldenrod stems, green
weeds that wake
in wispy breaths
of morning dew
wiping away
night’s blank stare
to see

old milkweed still standing
there — since last season,
rattling death
on the edge of field
and garden,
brown leathery husks
shriveled and hollow,
relics of seeds with feathers
that flew with the wind
the day they burst open
the pod door — escaping
to whorl and dance
in the autumn sun.