The Asters I Bought and Haven’t Planted Are Making Me Feel Guilty

What this is really all about is,
nature won’t let me move on.
I looked up and it was Christmas,
for all intensive purposes
(as people mistakenly say), but
the ground is still green,
it’s 60 degrees on December 12,
and it feels unlikely but possible
that I’ll go and find a butterfly
or a caterpillar in some ill-advised
stage, all innocent prolegs and
unknowing stripes, even its
filaments filled with stupid,
stupid hope. It drives them
like an engine. They do not know
the calendar, that the whole world
has moved on, the migration
long since over, or that I want
to move on, too, forget my garden
for a few months, bleach all the
mesh enclosures where wonders
occurred, be empty again,
soundless and hopeless again,
until spring.



3 thoughts on “The Asters I Bought and Haven’t Planted Are Making Me Feel Guilty

  1. Hello back, Angie! I just planted those guilt asters. Finishing up in the dark at 5:00 because this is Chicago.

    I did *not* see a butterfly or a caterpillar, thank goodness. I raised 125 monarchs this summer and fall. I hope to do it again, and will unless it’s illegal (there’s a decision pending, whether they’ll be declared endangered, in which case no one can touch them).

    But it became very stressful when their migration ran late because of odd weather, and I’ve been hoping that my last one for the year really was my last one for the year. 🙂

  2. I just have to circle back and say … I was just at my garden today — feeling guilty for not having been there in a while — and I was stunned to see those asters blooming. I had forgotten all about them, and then I remembered this poem and how bad I felt about my neglect, and I smiled.

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