Stop and smell the lilacs

Image: My Grandpa's Garden

Four Kinds of Lilacs

"Why don't you turn at the next corner,"
she said, "and take another road home.
Let's go past that farm with all the
different colored lilacs."

"That's seven miles out of the way,"
he said. "I wanted to plant the rest
of the corn before evening. We
can look at lilacs some other time."

"It'll take only a few minutes"
she said. "You know that lilacs
aren't in bloom for long—if we
don't go now, it will be too late."

"We drove past there last year,"
he said. "They're like any other lilacs
except for the different colors. The rest
of the year, they're all just bushes."

"They're lilac, purple, white, and pink,"
she said. "And today, with no breeze,
the scent will hang in the air—no flowers
smell as good as lilacs in the spring."

"I thought of planting lilacs once,"
he said, "for a windbreak in the grove.
The good smell lasts only a few days.
I suppose we can go, if we hurry."

"Now slow up," she said.
"Last year, you drove by so fast
we couldn't even get a good look.
It wouldn't hurt to take it easy."

"Well, there they are," he said,
"and looking pretty scraggly—past
full bloom already. You should
have thought of doing this sooner."

- Leo Dengel, in
Home from the Field: Collected Poems

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  1. Love it!


  2. Oh what a beauty !
    I can relate to this one on so many levels- 1)myself not taking time to smell the flowers !! Always busy busy!!
    2)My partners apathy to do something I have suggested and then after much cajoling and a struggle to get him to do it he finds he actually really enjoyed it and says eactly what the last line of this poem says.
    3) But I have to own up to one thing here- I am the one who would be driving too fast !
    Do you know the song We'll gather lilacs in the spring again- an oldie but a goodie.
    Thank you for this,


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