Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Milkweed

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My son skips ahead of me on the path
chasing down milkweed fluff
through oak leaves.

What is it called?–
the seed carried aloft by the ephemeral?
Shall I name it newly here

to convey a thing

less than wing, jellyfish
in the wrong element, a tangle
of would-be bodies,
scarves of nothing?

Or that boy, vanishing from my sight
down the trail, at times too far to call,
reappearing–a sleeve of blue among the weeds,
invisible again a moment after.

He loses the wild seed as it sails
toward sky, that for all his pursuit
through the poison ivy
easily floats off into the beyond.

He has it;     now not.

He recaptures it;
it slips out again.

A name, yes, for the bit of silk
that spins in the wind–
so when my eyes can no longer make it out
against the clouds, I might still hold
on my tongue what was.


Kathryn Petruccelli holds a degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Her work has appeared in various venues, including Rattle, Ruminate‘s blog, Word Riot, and regional anthologies of western Massachusetts and California’s Monterey Bay. Her essay “How to Read this Essay” was a winner of San Francisco’s LitQuake essay contest. Kathryn loves radio and the west coast and once upon a time interviewed amazing literary figures on the former while living on the latter. She is currently finishing a series of poems based on the historical derivation of the letters of the alphabet. More at poetroar.com.


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