Skunk Cabbage

Saw my first spring skunk cabbage of the year today at Mass Audubon’s beautiful Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA.IMG_4383This poem is from my book Western Motel.




Skunk Cabbage

Out of nowhere, then,

skunk cabbages astonish

the meadow: pursed

and swollen spathes,

putrid fists, ugly,

unreticent, and inside,

a knotted yellow swarm.

Slugs, snails, five-lined skink,

blue-bottled flies are avid

on the cud of mottled leaves

whose stench is salvage.

How long winter slung itself

over my shoulder,

each rogue thing

obstinate, returning—





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