Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Lilac Thief




OK, it's that time of year and I'm a sucker for lilacs. I steal them by the armfuls past midnight or in the hours just before dawn when there's no one else around. The heirloom bushes at Memorial Park appear diseased this year. Here's a poem I wrote about them a few years ago at the height of my prowling for lilacs on other peoples' property or in abandoned places.


The Lilac Thief

This year I looked for lilacs
off the beaten track
in places no longer tended –

A different kind of boundary,
long rows where once houses stood,
lots now empty.

I love the deeper purple of old bushes,
their crushed bloomets falling into my hand
taken from gnarled bark bearing heavy plumage.

I am the local lilac thief,
that one who stops to follow
the scent of unseen blossoms.

Jacqueline Gens
2003





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