Carmen O. Menéndez

Queen Anne’s Lace in Contrast

Here is this flower which in English gets praised by poets and painters,
has the name of a queen, and suggests elegant homes
with cuspings in gables, lacy spindles, turrets with domes.
In Castilian it is just an unnoticed wild flower, that is all.
In the old and new England clusters of exuberant
texture in soft fields and meadows,
are enhanced with dew pearls early morning.
In Castile, it looks like a stubborn wild flower, that is all.
Spring goes by swiftly on the Spanish plateau.
For a short while the plain gets a palette of colours,
with bluebells, daisies, rough lavender bushes…
It is time for red poppies to set fire among spikes in the crops.
The ravines and gullies are purple with mallows and thistles.
By midsummer all colours are missing.
Only thorns seem to cope with the dryness that
cracks up this country in solitude.
At noon, no buzzing of the cicadas is heard anymore.
The sun is a tyrant in fields run sterile and silent.
But, this flower made anonymous by want of a fancy name
stands out alone spreading its delicate white lace
against the straw-ridden fields scorched by the heat.
Such a largess of nature in the drought!

Carmen O. Menéndez
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Carmen O. Menéndez
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse