Goldenrod

By Ian Parks Ian Parks
If I don't say it
someone will: the wind
blows through the goldenrod
like death flows through a crowd.
I watch it from a distance
as the whole field lifts and stirs.
Close up, it holds the promise
of a less than perfect world.
I knew the thing
before I knew its name.
Now all I know
is what the name infers:
a life of pure sensation
or the rod some angel brings—
announcing a momentous
death or birth, each face
expectant, brightly-lit.
I say the name and what it means
until the meaning blurs.
The wind blows through the goldenrod
like death flows through a crowd.
Nothing is accomplished
and the world is changed by it.

Source: Poetry (August 2002).

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.