Friday, May 18, 2018

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. T Here's a poem I wrote about in 2003 at the height of my prowling for lilacs on other peoples' property or in abandoned places. The particular location that most inspired me was at the edge of Memorial Park in Brattleboro, VT. Eventually the bushes died off but for some years they were a bountiful sources of heirloom deep purple bushes.

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

First Lilacs
photo by Jacqueline Gens