The Alchemy of Goldenrod

Posted Oct. 11, 2010, at 6:17 p.m.

Like all that grows from root to shoot,
It spends the spring in leafing green,
Till midyear, when the great change starts,
When green transmutes to yellow, incrementally,
Through scorching days and chilling nights,
When it achieves its final height,
Small flowerets appearing last
On stems that start out from the mast
Of fibrous stuff, and then, in gold,
In brightest gold, presents itself,
The finest of the flowering plants.
Though farmers curse it as a weed,
And force it to the edges of their fields,
Its transformation has revealed
The goal long struggled for, at last attained.
Then, after glowing golden for a time,
Unable to maintain that state,
Its flowers fade and dissipate,
From brittle branches falling,
Flowing outward in an avalanche of white.

D.W. Brainerd lives in Howland. His self-made collections of poetry include “Under the Gold Sun” and “A Turn of the Wheel.”