Skip to main content

Reading “For the Young Vine Maples” by David Wagoner



Poetry Lunch S5E6

Reading “For the Young Vine Maples” by David Wagoner from Cascadia Field Guide, Mountaineers Books.


A quiet poem considering the vine maple, acer circinatum. There’s a lot of imagery here about continuing through difficulty, but also it places these trees in gardens as well as thickets and ditches. Wanted, unwanted, bent or straight, looking for light always and “alive where they are.” Something about that line I find very soothing, it reminds me to be alive where I am, less concerned with where I should be. Which in turn makes me consider where I actually am, and feel grateful for it.

It’s true you never know when or if light will come and depending where you’re planted, possibilities for growth can be very limited. I feel like this part of my life is all about reconciling with lack in my early life by tending places for young ones, new ones, next generations to grow. Garden beds and art markets and poetry offerings alike; I hope to make places where light can shine for others inside and out.


Link to purchase

Get the book: Cascadia Field Guide.