Mark Madigan, "Forsythia"




Standing at the corner of our brick house

they’d guard the secret place I’d hide


away from my brothers, cousins and friends

to lose myself in imagination.


The branches grew wild as Einstein’s hair

refusing it seemed to be trimmed back


until the day came when they’d lash out 

bursting into bloom with fierce yellow flowers


as each March ripped its teeth into Spring.  

Even that name seemed magic to me, 



unleashing more than a whispered breath—


a touch of sadness, a chiseling regret—

as if some quiet, curious child 


listened at night to a restless chef 

as he sat sharpening kitchen knives.


Mark Madigan's work has appeared in various literary journals, including American Scholar, California Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, Poetry, Louisville Review, Raleigh Review, and Tar River Poetry.