Throwback Thursdays! We’re bringing back some of our favorite pieces from the last 30 years of Scribendi.

Three-In-One to a Chinese Elm
Lara Hill-University of New Mexico-1989

This poem is to be read three ways: down the left, down the right, and across as a whole.

They say you’re a weed             since you thrive
tenacious as time             lusty in lean life zones
Why, you’ll plumb take over
they say
unless we make regular ritual
havoc to hack you back
you’re a stubborn survivor
Once this infant spring,
I clipped new shoots, already             too tough of root to yank,
with tiny red-rimmed baby leaves              without want or will,
filling out whole
But it’s Maytime now
I watch you, almost
shamelessly heartgay and             unabashed
you’re too dazzling to hate
in raging bloom
You who show me how

Your twigs spiral out from winter thin
with flat             round growing

Saucers, lime green            I can see the light right through

with slim round seeds
By July, your ripe disks dry            on out
to rice paper            white,
scatter on wide summer’s wind free            floating white,
to claim fresh grip on more ground            throughout our common space