Ode to Asparagus poetry contest winners, 2018

Glen Lake Community Library

May 19


First Place


By Matt Girard


As a child

I believed

That swallowed seeds

Would grow in me

Until I’d be

A stalk, a patch, an apple tree


Older now

And old beliefs

Are buried within dreams.

Above midnight streams

I sleep and seem

Of beech, of birch, of summer green


Now I long

For Leelanau

Between the inland seas

I’ll eat spring shoots

So my feet take root

Feathered limbs following the breeze


Second place

Of Asparagus I Sing
V. L. Stewart

Cold dawn Springs, of Asparagus I sing.
O Asparagus, we snapped your crispy heads at the break of day,
our baskets heavy with your fragrant, green display.
My Uncle Thor picked and ate you in the field,
“Spring Breakfast,” he called you while cutting down our yield.
Once picked, Aunt Crystal covered your green and purple crowns
with dampened cloth to keep you fresh until sold in town.
O Cold dawn Springs, of Asparagus I sing.

We snapped seven acres of your stalks every morn,
from late April to Father’s Day, it was shorn.
On muggy, sunny days, picking took all our might,
we swore we heard you growing, even in the night.
East sun warmed our backs while your endless rows we tracked.
We joked and griped through every bend and stoop, bend and stoop,
Dutifully picking loop after loop.
When, at last your green-purple crowns went to crazy seed,
the fairy forest fronds were extraordinary to believe.
O Cold dawn Springs, of Asparagus I sing.

Although I love your tasty, green empire like none other,
Was truly glad when the picking season was over.
O Cold dawn springs, of Asparagus I sing.

Third place

The Dog Who Loved Asparagus          

Solomon Boothby (age 9)


One night at supper

An asparagus fell on the floor

When I looked for it

It wasn’t there any more.


I looked again

It wasn’t there still

My dog licked his chops

He didn’t look too chill


Did he eat it?

Does he eat greens?

What is that look

On his face really mean?


This time on purpose

I dropped another, again.

Just like the first one

It was gone in a blink.


Now I knew it was him

Eating it off the floor

For now he was even

Begging for more.


In fact when I turned

My head to tell Mom

When I looked back

ALL my asparagus was gone!


Empire Asparagus Festival

Was the very next day

We saw the big tent

And headed that way.


What happened next

You wouldn’t believe

Our dog ran through the gate

Getting off his leash.


With his nose in the air

He ran to a booth

Where asparagus was served

(I tell you the truth)


The dog growled at the man

And made him jump!

The plate flew through the air

And made it all dump.


My dog munched away

So quickly and proud

The workers were shocked

And so was the crowd.


I ran to my dog

Hollering “No!”

I pulled him out

They were glad to see him go.


His love for asparagus

Will be remembered best of all,

For the next many years

At the Asparagus Festival!