What is the Grass?

The child asks, bringing it to me in handfuls.
We stop at the Walt Whitman Service Area—
No sign of Him save some “Democratic Vistas”
& “Drum Taps” on a plaque near the Micky D’s

Let’s go find the grass
I say to my two-year-old beauty and
We pick one blade from the median
Then back we go in the forever car

Hours later, pulling into Richmond
She, half awake in my arms mumbles

Let’s go find the grass


Copyright © 2014 by Lee Ann Brown. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“This snapshot poem’s title is taken from Whitman’s ever-generative ‘Song of Myself,’ when a child asks a question that grows into Leaves of Grass. My poem answers from the middle of the mother-daughter dyad, touching on a new human’s relation to memory, dream and the shared hunger for a lullaby of green amidst the cloned cookie-cutter rest stops of modern America.”
—Lee Ann Brown