Wisteria hangs in great dollops
from the treetops,
the faint purple drapery
escorting me to Aiken and Camden,
Bethune and Rockingham,
its aerial artistry
choking the tallest pines.

Driving through the Carolinas
on a lavender road
I’ve navigated for years
in blander seasons,
I can’t help but comment
on the overwhelming presence
to the service station cashier,

lifting her head from the till—
Is that what it’s called?
She hands back my card
over the pickled feet display
with a shrug, on learning
a new word, wisteria, I savor
all the more as I drive back into it.

When I later compliment my hostess
on the lavender bounty—
Oh, that weed? It drives Frank crazy,
she complains, refusing
to acknowledge any beauty
in something she has
so much of.

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