Published on Academy of American Poets (


June goes gaudy with bad boutonnieres—
flamingo mimosas, the giant
magnolia's bowl of petals. Let us consider

the man not welcome at the wedding.
What's the etiquette for the bad father?
What's the right flower for the ignored-

with-good-reason, the uninvited? A hydrangea,
head wide as a cabbage; or the bull thistle
wild along the roads; or a dandelion,

only a stalk stuck to his lapel by the time
he insists on their dance? He is a sad weed
himself, this man who has no daughter

but tries to hold her.


From A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New by Judson Mitcham. Copyright © 2007 by Judson Mitcham. Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia Press.


Judson Mitcham

Judson Mitcham is the author of A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New (University of Georgia Press, 2007), Sabbath Creek (University of Georgia Press, 2004), This April Day (Anhinga Press, 2003), and Somewhere in Ecclesiastes (University of Missouri Press, 1991). He is the recipient of fellowships from the Georgia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. He lives in Georgia.

Date Published: 2007-01-01

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