Lilace Mellin Guignard

What’s Fucked Up About Abundance


How in the midst of all those tomatoes
glowing red and orange in my backyard,
ripe and rotting in the raised 3×3 squares
I bowed my back filling, tilling, and weeding,

how in the bosom of late August
when their armies swarm my counters
and they roll off my sill—splat—into the sink,

how with the flavor of the hordes numbing
my tongue’s memory of winter when,
like mail order brides, I embrace cans
of diced and stewed from who-knows-where,

I lose each fruit’s singular beauty in the glare
of all there is to do—slicing, roasting,
freezing, boiling, canning—always pulling at me

like a million small children, or, let’s say, two
holding onto my legs, two perfect children
I’ve waited my whole life for clutching my legs

and the amazing—really—beefsteak of a man
I waited 30 years for (and would again)
reading Climbing magazine at the table
where he’s cleared a space for his beer

while I shuffle to the sink to lay
the knife down so I can pick the baby up,

how so much goodness doesn’t make me
thankful so much as frantic knowing
the rest of my life I must work to deserve it.


Lilace Mellin Guignard was a 2003-2004 recipient of a Nevada Artist Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Ecotone, Calyx, Rivendell, and ISLE, as well anthologies; her nonfiction has been published in Quarterly West, Santa Monica Review, and Orion Afield. Guignard’s research and academic articles focus on gender and outdoor spaces. She currently writes from her home in rural Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband, six-year-old son, and three-year-old daughter.