Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gone to the lilies of the field

Here's a gift from our friend Karen:

Camas Lilies

by Lynn Ungar


Consider the lilies of the field,

the blue banks of camas

opening into acres of sky along the road.

Would the longing to lie down

and be washed by that beauty

abate if you knew their usefulness,

how the natives ground their bulbs

or flour, how the settlers’ hogs

uprooted them, grunting in gleeful

oblivion as the flowers fell?


And you — what of your rushed

and useful life? Imagine setting it all down —

papers, plans, appointments, everything —

leaving only a note: “Gone

to the fields to be lovely. Be back

when I’m through with blooming.”


Even now, unneeded and uneaten,

the camas lilies gaze out above the grass

from their tender blue eyes.

Even in sleep your life will shine.

Make no mistake. Of course

your work will always matter.

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