Spring has sprung here in Austin, and the roads are decorated with our state flower. In honor of these brilliant blooms, I’d like to share my poem, “Wildflower Season.” This poem won first place in the Austin Poetry Society’s Mary Oliver Award in 2015 and is published in Best Austin Poetry 2014-2015.
Highways are bridges across red seas,
oceans of blue—
bodies of color that wave
when the wind blows.
Tourists in our own land, we wade
through ankle-high blooms, then venture deeper—
trying to capture something
that can’t be caught in a photo.
What we want to remember
is our moment of awe
when we crested that hill
and gasped at the painted landscape.
One bluebonnet looks just like the next
They are not zebra stripes, nor snowflakes.
Their power lies in the collective,
beauty in numbers.
Let’s put down our cameras,
keep our kids in the car,
stop stopping on the side of the road
to see the blanket turn to threads,
the ocean of blue become a dried up lake
of bald spots and litter.
Let’s just drive, look,
enjoy with our windows down.
Make a U-turn if we must.
© Carie Juettner