Roger Pfingston: "Drought's Bouquet"




Each day clings like a rusty burr.

For hues of brown, be grateful.

Even the cricket knows

it’s safe to sing in the sewer.


You leave early to walk

the creekbed’s lost and found: 

tooled flint, geodes, bones

arranged by hunger.

As the sun domes to a disk

you enter the field, flat swirls

of grass where last night

the deer dreamed.


You pick the promised bouquet

of ironweed, goldenrod,

teasingly damp in your arms,

thistle still waving goodbye

to the finch as you turn home,

the new day’s sky a grim

prediction of sunny and dry.


Be patient. By night

one moon of many names

will cool the sky as you shorten

the evening reading the Spanish poet,

the syllabic pleasure of his name

like nine green birds.



Roger Pfingston is a retired teacher of English and photography in Bloomington, Indiana.  He has two books, Stoutes Creek Road (Raintree Press) and Something Iridescent: Poems and Stories (Barnwood Press), as well as two chapbooks, Singing to the Garden (Parallel Press) and Earthbound (Pudding House Press). His poetry has also appeared in many literary journals, including Adirondack Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Laurel Review, Naugatuck River Review, New Letters, Ontario Review, Snowy Egret, Spoon River Poetry Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Wisconsin Review, and Yankee Magazine. Roger Pfingston has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two PEN Syndicated Fiction awards, and a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity fellowship.