Katy D'Angelo: "Greenbelt"




Near the path we find 

daffodils sprouting in patches,

the crowded clusters rising

from piles of long-dead fall leaves.

The ones whose budding flowers

hang over the edge look

like submarine scopes turning

their heads to the wind.

These domesticated clumps

decorating the haphazard brush

with bright Easter crowns

give a last glimpse

of the shacks once dotting this ground,

the tobacco farmers who built

their homes downstream,

before the tributary was flooded

to make the man-made lake teem,

before Eleanor Roosevelt

stood and decreed that a town

would rise from this mound,

and the only witnesses left

to tell of the planting—

the bulbs buried in coarse mud

and covered for a century—

are the woods’ towering trees.


Katy D’Angelo teaches writing at Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has published poems and articles on American poetry in Paideuma, North American Review, Paterson Literary Review, and Louisiana Literature.