Lizette Woodworth Reese

(January 9, 1856 – December 17, 1935 / Waverly)

Spicewood Poem by Lizette Woodworth Reese


The spicewood burns along the gray, spent sky,
In moist unchimneyed places, in a wind,
That whips it all before, and all behind,
Into one thick, rude flame, now low, now high,
It is the first, the homeliest thing of all--
At sight of it, that lad that by it fares,
Whistles afresh his foolish, town-caught airs--
A thing so honey-colored, and so tall!

It is as though the young Year, ere he pass,
To the white riot of the cherry tree,
Would fain accustom us, or here, or there,
To his new sudden ways with bough and grass,
So starts with what is humble, plain to see,
And all familiar as a cup, a chair.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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