Photo by my sister Patti Arnieri
Before our dad told us its real name,
we used to call it wild mustard.
What did we know about sweet clover except for its color
and that summer smell, cloying in its sugared perfume.
It filled the air and smothered the plains—
bright yellow and green where before
brown stubble had peeked through blown snow.
On these dry lands, what flowers there were
tended to be cash crops or cattle feed.
Sweet clover or alfalfa.
The twitching noses of baby rabbits brought home by my dad
as we proffered it to them by the handful.
Fragile chains we draped around our necks and wrists.
Bouquets for our mom
that wilted as fast as we could pick them.
Summers were sweet clover and sweet corn
and first sweethearts parked on country roads,
windows rolled down to the night air,
then quickly closed to the miller moths.
whispered confessions, declarations,
What we found most in these first selfish loves
The relief of being chosen
and assurance that all our parts worked.
Our lips accepting those pressures unacceptable
just the year before.
Regions we’d never had much congress with before
calling out for company.
That hard flutter
like a large moth determined to get out.
Finding to our surprise,
like the lyrics of a sixties song,
that our hearts could break, too.
Hot summer nights,
cars full of boys honking
at cars full of girls.
Cokes at Mack’s cafe.
And over the whole town
that heavy ache of sweet clover.
Half promise, half memory.
A giant invisible hand
that covered summer.
The dVerse prompt today is to write a poem about a flower. Nice coincidence that I was working on this poem for a book about growing up in South Dakota and had just asked my sister if she had any photos of sweet clover. She did–and here are both the poem and the photo.
A friend asked these questions on Facebook. Thought I’d share them with you. Here are my answers. To play along, copy them and change the answers to your own. Please publish a link to your answers in comments below:
1. Do you like mustard? Yes
2. Choice of carbonated drink? SanPellegrino Clementina
3. Do you own a gun? No
4. Whiskey, Tequilla, Rum or Vodka? Gin
5. Hot dogs or Cheeseburgers? Both
6. Favorite Type Of Food? Mexican, Chinese, Thai
7. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes
8. What do you drink in the mornings? Papaya Smoothie
9. Can you do a 100 Pushups? Can’t do one.
10. Summer, Winter, spring or fall?? Summer, Spring, Fall
11. Favorite hobby? Making art, writing
12. Tattoos? No
13. Do you wear glasses? Yes. For everything
14. Phobia? Not being able to breathe
15. Nickname? Remi
16. Three drinks you drink? Water, Decaf Coffee, Gin and Tonic
17. Biggest Downfall? Unable to travel as I would like
18. Rain or Snow? Rain
19. Piercings? Just ears
21. Kids? 8 stepkids
22. Favorite color? Burnt Orange, Gold, Cobalt Blue
23. Favorite age? 39
24. Can you whistle? Enough to call the dog
25. Where were you born? Pierre, South Dakota
26. Brothers or Sisters? 2 Sisters
28. Surgeries? 4
29. Shower or Bath? Shower
30. Like gambling? Yes—a bit
32. Broken bones? No
33. How many tv’s in your house? 1
34. Worst pain in your life? My husband’s death
35. Do you like to dance? Yes
36. Are your parents still alive? No
37. Do you like to go camping? No. I used to.
Please play along! These are fun to do and fun to read.
Copy, paste, change the answer!!
Amazing facts with photos for proof!
Click on the link below to see what the major part of your body is composed of!!!