Lilacs Bloomed: An Elegy
a lecture, a man in a straw hat stopped. Will you walk
the boardwalk and promenade. The fireflies sparked.
black skirt collected the dust of the day, sent it in whirl
stretched my ankles, stiff with the art required to keep up
said, I’ve read your Leaves of Grass and the
his poems. None denied the weight of the man’s body
Whitman’s elbows jutted rakishly at pairs of boys
Whitman stroked the heft of his beard. Like an invitation,
a blacksmith’s shop. Inside a red hot point plunged
gaze lingered. I asked, How do you do it?
averting his eyes from the man, Walt Whitman smirked.
Laura Madeline Wiseman has a MA from the University of Arizona and a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she teaches English. Her work has appeared in Margie, Poet Lore, Blackbird, Arts & Letters, Prairie Schooner, American Short Fiction, The Fence, The Los Angeles Review and 13th Moon. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including Branding Girls (Finishing Line Press, 2011), Ghost Girl (Pudding House, 2010), and My Imaginary (Dancing Girl Press, 2010). Recently, she has collaborated with the artist Kate Johnson on a limited edition series of broadsides that combine poetry and graphic art printed at the Prairie Center of the Arts.