August 2015

The Mallow Leans toward the Sun

          by Helen Marie Casey


Songs of cicadas overwhelm silence until even the whispers

of trees grow inaudible. Beneath ancient canopies,

mottled oaks shake tired leaves, butterflies sail into and out of

darkest shadows. I am the one who slakes the thirst

of daisies, lilies, catmint. The chipmunk, the squirrel,

and the crow gossip. Impatiens would like to dominate. Weeds,

in wild abandon, shrug. Asters rise, too common for notice.

Sundrops, yellow luster out of season now, straggle and grow limp.

The Japanese maple, silent as a queen, keeps its purple secrets.


“The Mallow Leans toward the Sun” is excerpted with permission from Casey’s longer work titled “Maybe an Iris.”

Helen Marie Casey has lived in Sudbury, Massachusetts, for 35 years and has learned to love New England's seasons and heritage with an unanticipated passion. Her chapbooks include Fragrance Upon His Lips, a series of poems about Joan of Arc, and Inconsiderate Madness, a series of poems about Mary Dyer. She has also written a biography about one of Sudbury's artists, My Dear Girl: The Art of Florence Hosmer.