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.