Morning Glory

Van Anderson

This morning’s glory is

the morning glory just

outside the window, purple

trumpet blossom, heart-


shaped leaves on wiry vine            

that sinuates through straight

and narrow fence cracks, rising

earth towards sky, between


the grey-blank saw-scarred-plank

perimeter. It breached

this seven-foot fence and dared

festoon a plantless plot


with one-day blooms that deftly

bear their nascent death

when opening every dawn

and closing with the moon,


dared declare a right

to nature’s greenery                        

and color next to plastic      

grass and grey concrete.                 


At dusk the pentagon                      

corolla curls upon                            

itself, a fluttering moth        

that’s poised above the pale                       


deep central throat, which seems

to proffer inner light

distilled from night and roots

beyond the weathered fence.


When purple fades to pink,

the blossom withers, tans,

then clenches to a fist

until it droops, when calyx


drops it like a burnt

out butt along a curb

to bake beneath the next

day’s sun: a brown shred ghost


of what it used to be.

Origins of the poem:  I was staying at someone’s house and was struck by the tenacious beauty of the morning glories squeezing their way through the gaps of the grey privacy fence outside my bedroom window. Ironically, a day or two after I finished the poem, the owner of the house ripped out the morning glories because he considered them “weeds” so the yard resumed its plantless planes of concrete, plastic grass and bare wood. 

Van Anderson’s writing life began in 2nd grade when he wrote a story about Amos the mouse, who haunted the White House and ended up being swallowed by President Eisenhower’s wife—sadly, the wife and Amos both died. Since then he’s written hundreds of academic papers and filled thousands of journal pages. North Star Press published a collection of his poems, Tending the Garden, in June 2013. He has published poems in a number of journals and his essays and articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and a variety of educational publications. Now a retired English teacher, he continues to write and publish poems and political commentary.

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