Painted-cup Paintbrush · Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Painted-Cup Paintbrush

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by Hilary Plum

problem of naming starts young

in the woods

pond the size of a lake and manmade

dammed up and smoothly

rising industrial banks          shitty little playground

to the sound of the dog pound’s dogs barking and

goose shit

everywhere      plastic buoys marked the safe

or allowed space, my brother a lifeguard

the camp counselors all tried to flirt with but

he scanned and scanned the water

for disappearing children

                             contrary to popular

drowning is silent and subtle, lack of wave

lack of splash

                             contrary to

it was then called, the flower, “Indian Paintbrush”

I looked for it red orange yellow in the low

surprise of the woods, endlessly fine up close or a smear

of bright color in Connecticut           the problem

with the name not something a child could finally name 

or not me           the place is inscribed and you are

with a long violence whose paths are your own, around

the pond with bright paint on bark marking and your white

ancestors insisting in Latin “he who is transplanted” 

                             “Bicentennial Pond”

I circled and circled it to grow up

nothing            could be more perfect than finding

silent and bright that flower the paintbrush somewhere

beyond and amid

geese honking raucous, Canadian bird-clowns

shit slick beneath kid feet           “still sustains”          we moved away

taking books, dishes, leaving my orange room

within the paintbrush’s big exquisite territory 

                         “endangered in Connecticut”

 

 

 

 

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CoyoteStephanie Ginese

Common MilkweedDelilah McCrea

Showy OrchisBill Newby

American Witch-hazelQuartez Harris

Common CarpDavid Hassler

Common PawpawIsaiah Back-Gaal

MayappleRebecca Wohlever

Common DewberryPeter McWilliams

North American River OtterAnastasios Mihalopoulos

Winter FireflyIsaiah Hunt

Virginia BluebellsBronlynn Thurman

American RobinKari Gunter-Seymour

American CrowJason Harris

Eastern CottontailEros Livieratos

Bald-faced HornetKJ Ceranowski

Poverty OatgrassHaylee Schwenk

Song SparrowVirginia Konchan

Wood DuckDiana Lueptow

Japanese HoneysuckleShei Sanchez

Yellow BullheadTed Lardner

Funeral BellTishon Woolcock

Common DandelionCora Liderbach

WarmouthCamille Ferguson

Snapping TurtleJessica Jewell

SassafrasAndrea Imdacha

Poison IvyMarina Vladova

Pharaoh CicadaCathy Barber

Northern Dusky SlugRay McNiece

JewelweedJudith Mansour

DamselfliesKen Tomaro

BloodrootChad Lutz

KilldeerMary Biddinger

Big Brown BatSujata Lakhe

Barred OwlCourtney Noster

Long-eared OwlMichael Loderstedt

Isabella Tiger MothLeah Graham

American SycamoreMegan Lubey

Water Forget-Me-NotAlyssa Perry

Masked BeesZach Savich

TrilliumKimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson

CrayfishConor Bracken

Great Blue HeronDan Dorman

American SweetgumCaryl Pagel

Painted TurtleRebekah Ainsworth

Green DarnerMarion Boyer

American BeaverKatie Daley

Eastern Screech-OwlDr. R. Ray Gehani

Spring PeeperBarbara Sabol

Eastern Carpenter BeeSylvia Clark

Jacob's LadderRisha Nicole

Candleflame LichenClara Britton

Eastern NewtElizabeth Ryan

American BullfrogLaura Grace Weldon

American ChestnutCarrie George

American GoldfinchMarybeth Cieplinski

American HornbeamJeff Gundy

Artist’s BracketSusann Moeller

Banded Fishing SpiderCharlie Malone

BluegillOlivia Farina

Common Star-of-BethlehemBrita Alaburda

Common StonefliesKaren Schubert

Eastern ChipmunkNathan Kemp

Firefly BeetleJacquie Peoples Dukes

Gray CatbirdTheresa Brightman

Great MulleinLaurie Kincer

Green HeronPaula J. Lambert

HepaticaAmanda Schuster

Interrupted FernKathleen Cerveny

Jack-in-the-PulpitMichael Buebe

Meadow VoleRoberta Jupin

Monarch ButterflyDeborah Fleming

MuskratCatherine Wing

Pearl CrescentMonica Kaiser

Poison HemlockJon Conley

Star JelliesCameron Gorman

Sugar MapleSteve Brightman

Turkey VultureAndrew Gilkey

White-footed MouseMichelle Bissell

White-tailed DeerBenjamin Rhodes

Wild CarrotJessica Jones

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