Photography © Karen A. Szklany


How To Identify A Wildflower

First, forget everything you think you know
About being wild or a flower.
Do not expect the flowers to sing to you.
They have never read William Blake, nor have the flowers ever watched or read
Alice in Wonderland which also features singing flowers.
You can meet yourself with scorn, as recommended by Blake, but the flowers
Will find you tedious.

Second, remember: You are tedious and
The flowers will not come to you. You must go to the flowers
And travel like someone courageously tedious,
To where the flowers grow. The flowers are wild and grow
Everywhere that feels impossible.
Three, you’ll see the blue ones, called blue chicory but they prefer to be called
          Blue Sailors
Because they have the best little sailor hats.
They are blue for a reason of tricks and anthocyanins. The blue chicory flower
          likes to grow
Where you will never mow. Chicory likes the soil wasteful and hot.
If found, the chicory will make you a shitty cup of unimpressed coffee. The
          flowers will tell you
About the time they were so blue, they reflected the late summer sky back to
          you but you were
Too busy to notice.
They’ll also tell you how they are a crayon color called cornflower but would
          like to remind you
They are in the family Asteraceae. The blue chicory’s motto is: ‘Tis nobler in
          the mind to suffer’
and do rethink calling it a daisy despite it being in the daisy family. We all
          have family members
we’d rather not talk to anymore or would like to pretend didn’t exist.


Chrissy Stegman has four kids – 2 bio; 2 bonus. She loves writing, reading, gardening, and holding her husband’s hand. She’s pretty boring but she thinks her poetry makes up for that fact. She went to school. She did some stuff. She’s here now. That’s all that matter.

Karen A. Szklany was born in New York and now lives in a New England co-housing community. She is the author of several collections of poetry, gardening books and Unitarian Universalist sermons. Karen also serves as a Life Healing and Transformation Coach on the labyrinth path.