Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

Reflection on a Line by James Wright
Ellen Roberts Young

I would break
into blossom if you planted me
between stickleaf and wire lettuce,
my blooms soft, small like theirs.

Among Mexican primrose and poppies
I might manage buds, a quiet cream
near vivid pink and gold.

But not in the rose bed!
Beside their debutante grace
I could only break
the mood.


Ellen Roberts Young, a California native who spent almost 40 years in Pennsylvania, is now part of the writing community in Las Cruces, NM. Her chapbooks Accidents (2004) and The Map of Longing (2009) are published by Finishing Line Press. Recent journal publications include Common Ground, Slant, and online journals Melusine and qarrtsiluni. She blogs at www.freethoughtandmetaphor.com.

  • Sandra Kohler

    Neat poem. I love the James Wright line it takes off from, so it’s high praise indeed to say that I think this “reflection” does not disappoint me.

  • Liz

    I was imagining what you were portraying and was met with surprise with the last line. I can see how people feel the same at times. (Dare not to compare.) Nice piece, Ellen.

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