Pickerel Weed

by Carl Little

I know these, too, from the pond
I skirted as a child, the green
cake knives clustered along the shore
doubling in shallows

where I cast hula popper hoping
the weed’s namesake might snatch
and tug the line into nearby lily pads.
Oh lovely slime of thrashing fish!

And now I find them again the weeds
in a corner of Somes Pond where Wylie
once paddled her canoe and spooked
at a vision of redfaced natives,

pickerel weed spiking the air,
water bugs scurrying among stems.
They hold the pose through summer,
a few blue blossoms adding to the thrill,

part of an overall green that we greet
with affection after a long winter.
Elsewhere, water lilies are more prominent
in the waterscape, but haven’t a clue

about the subtleties of beauty. Weed, yes,
but such a exceptional one cutting
the air this way and that in a light breeze
that animates us all.