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About this Poem 

“This snapshot poem’s title is taken from Whitman’s ever-generative ‘Song of Myself,’ when a child asks a question that grows into Leaves of Grass. My poem answers from the middle of the mother-daughter dyad, touching on a new human’s relation to memory, dream and the shared hunger for a lullaby of green amidst the cloned cookie-cutter rest stops of modern America.”
—Lee Ann Brown

What is the Grass?

The child asks, bringing it to me in handfuls.
We stop at the Walt Whitman Service Area—
No sign of Him save some “Democratic Vistas”
& “Drum Taps” on a plaque near the Micky D’s

Let’s go find the grass
I say to my two-year-old beauty and
We pick one blade from the median
Then back we go in the forever car

Hours later, pulling into Richmond
She, half awake in my arms mumbles

Let’s go find the grass
 

Copyright © 2014 by Lee Ann Brown. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2014 by Lee Ann Brown. Used with permission of the author.

Lee Ann Brown

Lee Ann Brown

Lee Ann Brown was born in Japan and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is the author of In the Laurels, Caught (Fence Books, 2013), which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Award, as well as Crowns of Charlotte (Carolina Wren Press, 2013), The Sleep That Changed Everything (Wesleyan, 2003), and Polyverse (Sun & Moon Press, 2000), which won the 1996 New American Poetry Competition.

by this poet

poem
Come on, you who remembers your dreams
who acts upon them in this world
Come you who I often and silently call
so that I may be with you
Come and sustain me
and I will sustain you 
with what sustenance I have
with the curls of revolutionary quiet
with lovely baroque convolutions of thought
Come make
poem

 

          for Carl & Lillian Sandburg’s Connemara, Flat Rock, NC

 

As a child I was taken
to visit Connemara
as I remember
a little display of concrete poems
in the shapes of shoes
next to a typewriter
on an orange crate
let me know
I was

poem

Sheaves of wheat in cement relief
Supply the beauties of Archer Ave.

Past the scaffolded brick church spire
We turn on the vacant corner lot

Through winds worthy of Hopkins (Gerard M.)
New words — Alexus — Everything must go

“Include everything in poetry”
Even