—a golden shovel from “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” – Walt Whitman

by Lesley Sieger-Walls


The table is littered with fresh lilac
cuttings, vying for vases, their drooping
all too soon, despite being perennial.
In haste, we arrange the stems, and
even now, a few are dropping
trails of petals, like from a dying star –
from the sun, perhaps. We breathe them in.
We witness their submission, like the
final smolderings in the west.

Lesley Sieger-Walls holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, she lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she teaches university writing classes and conducts walking tours for the Missouri Historical Society. A Kansas native, her poetic focus is typically rooted in the landscapes of the Great Plains and the Midwest.