The other day was my birthday. My wife challenged me to write about . . .
At my age, all the good topics are taken:
“if we had world enough and time,” but past
my three score that seems short; and Milton grumped
“how soon hath time” at a mere three and twenty;
and the day that Donald Hall grew older he
was younger than I am now, and that high school
musical still plays on – my musement broken
when the waiter brings our plates.
“Asparagus,” you say. “Write what you know.”
Asparagus, delight of Michigan’s
early summer, ours for three weeks or perhaps
by strength of growing season, four, the bright
stalks the color of June, those childhood spears
now fallen like so many candles diagonal
across my plate, a demarcation
before and after, meat and potatoes,
still crisp to challenge the knife,
green arrows that lead past the plate to you.