April 27, 2013
Summer Meditation for Paul: Look Back, Ajuga

The world is an

aggressive place. World on the march.

In the garden, purple ajuga puts out


its feelers, runners, roots;

colonizes, won’t look back. What is

breath? In a light-bombarded


room: Noise. Roofers pound.

Tree clippers buzz. Snowplow scrapes

the street, preps for


paving. Opaque, sightless

trucks beep, back, push. Look out! Let nature

take its course: Let the sperm


win the derby, make Alicia

pregnant. But not the melanoma. Men in dark

suits jostle, shoulder, elbow,


will not yield space. They will

go to the wall. Military persons. Save

Paul.  He is 24, 6’ 3 ½”. He grew


yesterday. Every cell shimmers,

but not the malignancy. Dark splotches    

under a chestnut tree on a


cloudless July day.

Not motiveless. Save

Paul. Look back, ajuga.



-Dana Roeser  (Tippecanoe County)

This poem originally appeared in Northwest Review 43:3 (Fall 2005) and later was reprinted in In the Truth Room, Northeastern University Press/University Press of New England, 2008.

Dana Roeser is the author of two books of poetry, In the Truth Room (2008) and Beautiful Motion (2004), both winners of the Morse Poetry Prize and published by Northeastern University Press/University Press of New England. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The Iowa Review, Harvard Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, and The Southern Review, and on Poetry Daily. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, and teaches in the MFA program at Butler University.

Indiana Humanities is posting a poem a day from Indiana poets in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Posted In: Miscellaneous

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *